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Balotelli suffers Italy blow

City striker sustains another problem with his knee

By Simone Bargellini.   Last Updated: 31/05/11 9:11pm

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Balotelli: Out of Estonia friendly after suffering a knee injury

Balotelli: Out of Estonia friendly after suffering a knee injury

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Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli has been ruled out of Italy's Euro 2012 qualifier against Estonia.

The 20-year-old suffered a knee injury while training with the national team squad, the Italian Football Federation confirmed on Tuesday.

Balotelli had been hoping to win his third cap during Friday's game in Modena but reported a recurrence of a problem with his right knee in a training match against Italy's Under 18 side.

That comes after a frustrating first season in England's Premier League which was frequently interrupted by injury and Italy's team doctor, Enrico Castellacci, confirmed Balotelli has already undergone surgery on a similar problem.

"It's the operated knee," he said. "I'm worried and I'll be getting straight in contact with the medical staff at Manchester City."

The latest setback means Balotelli is also set to miss next Tuesday's friendly against the Republic of Ireland in Liege.

However, Italy are looking comfortable in Euro 2012 qualifying and victory against Estonia on Friday would leave them needing two wins from their last four games to book their place in next summer's finals.

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