Napoli defender Giovanni Di Lorenzo will be out for a month, missing big games against Atalanta, Fiorentina and Roma.

The right-back sprained his right knee during a collision with Udinese goalkeeper Marco Silvestri at the weekend.

It caused him to pull out of Italy’s squad for the World Cup play-offs and today the club announced further tests confirmed the diagnosis of a Grade II sprain.

That means Di Lorenzo should be out of action for at least a month while undergoing conservative treatment.

He will miss Napoli’s big Serie A matches against Atalanta, Fiorentina and Roma, with hope he could return in time to face Empoli on April 24.

It is a huge blow for Luciano Spalletti’s Scudetto ambitions, because Di Lorenzo had started all 39 competitive matches this season.

The alternatives to fill in are Kevin Malcuit and 21-year-old youth team player Alessandro Zanoli.

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