MILAN (AP) — Mario Balotelli will reportedly miss Italy's opening two World Cup qualifiers to undergo Lasik eye surgery. He could also sit out Manchester City's Champions League opener against Real Madrid and his former manager at Inter Milan, Jose Mourinho.
The Gazzetta dello Sport reports that Balotelli will have the procedure Tuesday in his hometown of Brescia. He'll then need to rest for 10 days, ruling him out of Italy's matches with Bulgaria on Friday and Malta four days later.
City visits Madrid on Sept. 18, just 12 days after the surgery.
The Gazzetta quotes City manager Roberto Mancini as saying that Balotelli cannot put off the surgery any longer.
Balotelli led Italy with three goals when the Azzurri reached the European Championship final in July.