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Italy assessing injuries ahead of semifinal
By ANDREW DAMPF
KIEV, Ukraine (AP) While Italy is still celebrating its victory over England, the Azzurri have several injuries and lineup issues to worry about before facing Germany in the European Championship semifinals.
Both key midfielder Daniele De Rossi and fullback Ignazio Abate left Sunday's quarterfinal with muscle problems, and Abate's replacement Christian Maggio picked up a yellow card that rules him out of Thursday's match in Warsaw.
In addition, defender Giorgio Chiellini injured his hamstring in the final Group C match with Ireland and did not play Sunday. However, he trained regularly Monday with the members of the squad that didn't play against England.
There are also questions regarding the status of midfielder Thiago Motta, who picked up a slight injury in training last week and didn't leave the bench vs. England.
The biggest problem appears to be at right back, where both Abate and Maggio play. Domenico Criscito was also a starter at fullback, but he was a late cut from Italy's squad after being placed under investigation for match-fixing.
Italy coach Cesare Prandelli could take away the right back position by reverting to the three-man defense he used against Spain and Croatia in the opening two Group C matches. Although that could depend on the status of De Rossi, who anchored the three-man line.
With Leonardo Bonucci and Andrea Barzagli likely to retain their starting spots, another option in defense is Angelo Ogbonna, who is yet to see any action in this tournament.
Updated June 25, 2012