Italy prop Martin Castrogiovanni has had to drop out of his last Rugby World Cup after doctors discovered a tumor in his back, the Italian team manager revealed on Monday.
The 33-year-old Argentina-born star – fondly known as ‘Castro’ – will see a specialist about whether he requires surgery.
“Martin has pain on a sciatic nerve and after a check doctors found a tumor pressing on his 5th vertebra that is causing inflammation and pain,” team manager Luigi Troiani said.
“We are sure it is benign and tomorrow he will fly to Milan to see a specialist. The likelihood is he will require surgery.”
Castrogiovanni has been 1 of the leading props in the world over the past decade, playing for Toulon in France and Leicester in England.
Prop Martin Castrogiovanni, ruled out of Italy’s win over Scotland at the weekend because of a dog bite, has been dropped for the Six Nations matches against France and Wales.
Castrogiovanni, who needed 14 stitches after being bitten on the nose by a friend’s dog, was not in the 30-man squad named by coach Jacques Brunel on Tuesday and did not figure among the players who were listed as excluded through injury.
Versatile back Andrea Masi, who missed the Scotland game, and lock Quintin Geldenhuys, still to make his first appearance in the championship because of a knee injury, were recalled.
Italy captain Sergio Parisse and Martin Castrogiovanni will make their 100th international appearances for Italy in Saturday’s match against Fiji.
Jacques Brunel has made eight changes from the side that was thumped 50-20 by Australia in Turin last weekend.
Captain Sergio Parisse and popular prop Martin Castrogiovanni are closing in on a century of caps after the Argentine-born pair were named in Italy coach Jacques Brunel’s 30-man squad for next month’s international tests.
Both Stade Francais No 8 Parisse and Toulon’s Castrogiovanni have 98 caps and could surpass the century landmark during tests against Australia, Argentina and Fiji in November.
Today is the third and final day of matches in the first round of the pool stage of the Heineken Cup. In what is arguably the pick of the day’s matches Glasgow Warriors travel to France to take on Toulon. These teams currently top the RabboDirect PRO12 and French Top 14 respectively. The game is due to kick off at 16.00 South African Time.
Leicester prop Martin Castrogiovanni will lead Italy in the absence of banned number eight Sergio Parisse for Saturday’s Six Nations game with Wales. Stade Francais’ Parisse is out of the tournament after being suspended for 30 days for insulting a match referee.