Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon heads to Pretoria for tests on injured back

The Associated Press ~ staff The News
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IRENE, South Africa — Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon is undergoing tests Wednesday on his injured back, which could force him out of the World Cup.

Buffon was substituted after halftime of Italy’s 1-1 draw with Paraguay on Monday and was replaced by backup Federico Marchetti.

Team officials said Buffon and midfielder Andrea Pirlo, who is preparing to return from an injured left calf, were brought to a hospital in Pretoria for exams.

Team physician Enrico Castellacci was due to give an update later Wednesday. On Tuesday, Castellacci said Buffon’s injury is located on the left side of his sciatic nerve.

Italy next faces New Zealand on Sunday, then closes out Group F play against Slovakia four days later.

Geographic location: Italy, Pretoria, South Africa Paraguay New Zealand Slovakia

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