Juventus defender Mattia De Sciglio was on Sunday called up to replace injured Giovanni Di Lorenzo for Italy’s upcoming World Cup play-offs.
Di Lorenzo, who has 19 caps for the reigning European champions, limped off with a right knee injury during second-placed Serie A side Napoli’s 2-1 league win over Udinese on Saturday.
After tests on Sunday, the Italian football federation announced that Di Lorenzo “is unavailable for the next matches” and has returned to his club.
De Sciglio, who has 39 caps for Italy, was recalled to Roberto Mancini’s squad having not played for the Azzurri since June 2019.
On Sunday, the 29-year-old played a role in Juventus’s second goal in a 2-0 Serie A win over Salernitana.
Italy play North Macedonia in Palermo on March 24. If they win they take on either Portugal or Turkey five days later for a place at the World Cup.
Four-time world champions Italy failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, after losing a two-legged playoff to Sweden, the first time they missed the tournament in 60 years,