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Euro blow for Mario Balotelli as groin surgery looms

Milan: AC Milan striker Mario Balotelli's Euro 2016 bid has suffered a huge blow after reports claim he will undergo groin surgery this week that will sideline him for three months.

Mario Balotelli. Pic/AFP
Mario Balotelli. Pic/AFP

Balotelli, who has made only four appearances since re-joining Milan on loan from Liverpool earlier this season, has been sidelined for over a month with the problem and travelled to Denmark last week for a consultation with a leading specialist.

According to Gazzetta dello Sport on Monday, Milan and Liverpool have now agreed for the striker go under the knife this week -- an operation that will keep Balotelli sidelined for three months and could end his bid to work his way back into the Azzurri squad. Milan have yet to confirm the report but following his visit last week to consult with Professor Per Holmich, the Serie A club said: "The medical staff of AC Milan and Liverpool FC will soon agree on which treatment the player will undergo."

The operation would be a huge blow to Balotelli's hopes of launching a bid to be part of Italy's travelling party for next summer's European Championships. Balotelli has not played for Italy since their first-round exit from the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, where he became a scapegoat for the Azzurri's generally poor performances. He has been ignored by new Italy coach Antonio Conte since he took over from Cesare Prandelli, although the striker was hoping to fight his way back into the squad ahead of next summer's showpiece in France.

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