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Nesta loses fitness battle for Italy

Written by: Staff

DORTMUND, July 3 (Reuters) Italy central defender Alessandro Nesta has been ruled out of their World Cup semi-final with Germany, coach Marcello Lippi said today.

Nesta, who missed both of Italy's knockout stage games with a groin injury, had been rated as highly doubtful but took part in training with the team ahead of tomorrow's match.

''Nesta is not available. He is improving and we tried to get him back but without forcing things,'' said Lippi.

Italy's coach said winger Mauro Camoranesi had recovered from a knock to his knee and was available along with all the other players apart from suspended midfielder Daniele De Rossi.

In the absence of Nesta, Lippi is likely to turn to Inter Milan defender Marco Materazzi who is back after missing the 3-0 quarter-final win over Ukraine due to suspension.

Andrea Barzagli, who played alongside captain Fabio Cannavaro in the Ukraine victory, is another option for Lippi in the centre of defence but is likely to start on the bench.

Reuters DH VP0238

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