Uncapped Domenico Berardi pulls out of Italy squad with muscular injury
FLORENCE, Italy -- Forward Domenico Berardi has pulled out of the Italy squad with an injury, two days after receiving his first senior international call-up for the upcoming European Champions qualifiers against Azerbaijan and Norway.
The 21-year-old Berardi was named in the starting lineup for Sassuolo's Serie A match against Empoli but pulled up with a muscular injury in the warm-up and was replaced by Matteo Politano.
Italy coach Antonio Conte says Berardi underwent tests and a scan on Monday and while "they showed nothing serious ... he told me he is in a lot of pain."
Conte adds that Berardi "is also a bit scared because he's coming back from an injury, so he prefers to return home and recover."
Conte will not call up a replacement as Italy sit top of Group H, two points ahead of Norway.
Sebastian Giovinco, who hasn't played for his country since a friendly match against Albania last November, was recalled to the squad. He was also called up for last month's qualifiers but the Toronto FC forward had to pull out with injury.
Fabio Quagliarella was also recalled following his fine form for Torino. The 32-year-old, who last played for Italy five years ago, has scored four goals in his side's opening seven Serie A matches.
AC Milan captain Riccardo Montolivo is also back in the squad for the first time since breaking his leg in a warm-up match for the 2014 World Cup.
The full squad:
Goalkeepers: Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Daniele Padelli (Torino), Salvatore Sirigu (Paris Saint-Germain).
Defenders: Davide Astori (Fiorentina), Andrea Barzagli (Juventus), Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus), Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus), Matteo Darmian (Manchester United), Mattia De Sciglio (AC Milan), Alessandro Florenzi (Roma), Andrea Ranocchia (Inter Milan), Davide Santon (Inter Milan).
Midfielders: Andrea Bertolacci (AC Milan), Riccardo Montolivo (AC Milan), Marco Parolo (Lazio), Andrea Pirlo (New York City), Roberto Soriano (Sampdoria), Marco Verratti (Paris Saint-Germain).
Forwards: Domenico Berardi (Sassuolo), Antonio Candreva (Lazio), Eder (Sampdoria),Stephan El Shaarawy (Monaco), Sebastian Giovinco (Toronto), Lorenzo Insigne (Napoli), Graziano Pelle (Southampton), Fabio Quagliarella (Torino), Simone Zaza (Juventus).