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Dublin: 19 °C Sunday 31 May, 2020

Italian legend Martin Castrogiovanni to have surgery to remove tumour in his back

Castrogiovanni has a tumour in his sciatic nerve.

Castrogiovanni was absent for the defeat to Ireland.
Castrogiovanni was absent for the defeat to Ireland.
Image: David Davies

ITALY HAVE CONFIRMED that iconic tighthead prop Martin Castrogiovanni will play no further part in the World Cup, after is was discovered that the 33-year-old has a tumour in his sciatic nerve.

Castrogiovanni missed the game against Ireland at the Olympic Stadium on Sunday, with the prop reporting pain in his lower back.

But after meeting with doctor, it was diagnosed as a tumour in the sciatic nerve, which is expected to require surgery.

However, Italy’s team manager Luigi Troiani  said they are confident the tumour found is benign.

“Martin has pain on a sciatic nerve and after a check doctors found a tumour pressing on his fifth vertebra that is causing inflammation and pain,” he said.

“We are sure it is benign and tomorrow he will fly to Milan to see a specialist. The likelihood is he will require surgery.”

Castrogiovanni took to his Facebook page to write an emotional message to the Italian fans explaining that he had to prioritise his long-term health.

“I have never pulled back. This time is different: I have to stop because I have to think about my health. For the first time I have to put myself in front of the team, to my comrades.

“After months of intense preparation and spent the whole summer to train me for this important goal I’m so sorry to have to abandon the World Cup.

However, he certainly hasn’t lost his sense of humour.

“In the meantime, the next few weeks are in search of a hot nurse for 24 hour assistance. No time-wasters.”

Elsewhere Italy will also be without Michele Rizzo and Gonzalo Garcia for their final game of the tournament this Sunday against Romania. Both players picked up injuries in the 16-9 defeat to Ireland at the weekend.

Jacques Brunel has made two call-ups to the squad for the final game, with props Alberto de Marchi and Andrea Lovotti set to arrive this week.

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Neil Treacy

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