Mixed injury news for Lippi
By Nadia Carminati
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Marcello Lippi expects Francesco Totti to be fit for Italy's World Cup challenge.
Marcello Lippi expects Francesco Totti to be fit for Italy's World Cup challenge, but is increasingly concerned about the fitness of Christian Vieri.
Totti has made a rapid recovery from an ankle injury and played 74 minutes in a practice match for Roma on Thursday.
His return comes in time for the talismanic striker to prove his fitness before Lippi must submit his World Cup squad on May 15.
Lippi was encouraged by Totti's return to action and the Azzurri coach fully expects the seasoned campaigner to be playing in Germany.
"It has been a really encouraging performance," commented Lippi. "He moved positively.
"I've seen the real Totti back. I've seen him concentrated, with the will and he gave us optimism.
"For the World Cup, he will be ready."
But of greater concern for Lippi now is Vieri, with the experienced striker struggling with a knee injury.
The Monaco hit-man has been carrying the problem for the past month and has only just resumed jogging.
It is predicted that Vieri will be ready to play again on May 13, leaving Lippi with a tough decision over whether to select the hot shot, who has scored nine goals in previous finals.