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Italy's Baggio suffers another knee injury

© Reuters 2002

PARMA, Italy, Jan 31 (Reuters) - Roberto Baggio's hopes of making Italy's World Cup squad suffered a blow on Thursday when he was carried off with a knee injury during an Italian Cup semifinal.

Former European Player of the Year Baggio was playing only his second game back for his club Brescia after three months out with an injury to the same left knee.

Just 12 minutes after coming on as a halftime substitute against Parma, Baggio appeared to twist his knee as he turned for a ball on the edge of the penalty area.

Baggio was not under challenge when he fell but was clearly in pain as he was carried off the field on a stretcher.

Brescia club doctor Ernesto Alicicco confirmed Baggio had suffered an injury to the same left knee that had kept him out of action until Sunday's league match against Lecce.

"Baggio has hurt his left knee again. To evaluate the injury fully we need to carry out scans on the knee. We should know more in the next 24-36 hours," said Alicicco.

Brescia coach Carlo Mazzone said he was saddened by the latest setback for a player who is key for his team's Serie A survival hopes.

"I feel sorry for Roberto. He has been doing everything to get a place for the World Cup," said Mazzone.

The former Juventus striker has frequently stated his aim of getting back in the Italy team in time to compete in what would be his fourth consecutive World Cup finals.

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