LONDON: Italy will be without Riccardo Montolivo and Mexico without Luis Montes for the World Cup after both players broke legs in pre-finals warm-ups.
Montes suffered a horrific-looking double fracture of tibia and fibula in his right leg after 35 minutes of a clash with Segundo Castillo in a game against Ecuador in Arlington, Texas.
Castillo was also injured and carried off while some of Montes’s team-mates wept openly at the sight of his injury.
Montes was injured shortly after scoring and his absence further complicates World Cup selection for El Tri who were already missing
Juan Carlos Medina who injured an ankle in training.
Coach Miguel Herrera will call up Javier Aquino as squad replacement.
Later it was revealed that the Mexicans had suffered a further injury concern over veteran captain Rafael Marquez.
Ecuador’s coach, Colombian Reinaldo Rueda, said it had been a “very sad” match because of the injuries.
Mexico’s state President Enrique Peña sent Montes a message of sympathy and support.
As for Italy, Milan’s 29-year-old midfielder Montolivo broke his left leg after a challenge from Reading defender Alex Pearce after only eight minutes of a 0-0 draw with the Republic of Ireland at Craven Cottage, west London.
Montolivo, winning his 58th cap, was taken to a London hospital for X-rays, which confirmed the damage. He was replaced by former Liverpool midfielder Alberto Aquilani, who went off at half-time complaining of dizziness.
Aquilani’s Fiorentina team-mate Giuseppe Rossi may have secured his place in Italy’s 23-man squad for Brazil, though, by playing for 70 minutes on his return from knee trouble.
Italy face England, Uruguay and Costa Rica in World Cup Group D.