London: Italy midfielder Riccardo Montolivo could miss the World Cup after being stretchered off during his side`s friendly against the Republic of Ireland on Saturday.
Montolivo was injured in the early stages at Fulham`s Craven Cottage following a crunching tackle from Ireland defender Alex Bruce.
The AC Milan captain, who was skippering Italy on the night, needed several minutes of treatment before eventually being carried off.
Initial reports suggested he may have suffered a broken ankle, which would end his hopes of travelling to Brazil with the Azzurri.
Italy face England in their World Cup opener on June 14 and also have group fixtures against Costa Rica and Uruguay.