MILAN (AP) – Claudio Marchisio is set to feature in Italy's European Championship qualifier against Northern Ireland on Tuesday after medical tests revealed his injury is less serious than first feared.
Marchisio was forced off against Serbia on Friday with an ankle injury, but Italy team doctor Enrico Castellacci believes the Juventus midfielder will be fit for the Azzurri's final qualifier in Pescara after his condition improved.
''The ankle is getting better and the footballer will stay with us,'' Castellacci said. ''If no new problems come up I think Marchisio could be available.''
Marchisio scored in Italy's 1-1 draw in Belgrade - his first goal for the Azzurri - before getting injured 20 minutes from time.
''In the past, injuries have conditioned my career. Now finally I'm better,'' said Marchisio, who added his first goal sparked only one message.
''The only message I received was from Juve, but that was just to see what I had done to my ankle,'' Marchisio said.
Strikers Mario Balotelli and Giampaolo Pazzini and fullback Domenico Criscito withdrew from the Italy squad last week with injuries.
Italy has already qualified for next year's tournament as Group C winners.