June 14, 2014 10:58 am

Injured Gianluigi Buffon set to miss Italy’s World Cup opener against England

MANAUS, Brazil – Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon says he doesn’t expect to face England in their World Cup opener on Saturday, following an ankle injury in training.

Buffon, who picked up the injury at the Arena da Amazonia on Friday, wrote on his Twitter account “there are many ways to be important, even if you can’t be a protagonist on the pitch. … So go Salvatore.”

READ MORE: German football legend Beckenbauer won’t go to Brazil for World Cup

Italy reserve goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu of Paris Saint-Germain is expected to start the Group D match.

Coach Cesare Prandelli remained more hopeful about the keeper’s chances, telling Italian state broadcaster Rai “we’ll wait until the last minute hoping he can recover.”

Sirigu impressed in a 0-0 draw with Ireland two weeks ago in a warm-up match and has Champions League experience with PSG.

© The Canadian Press, 2014

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