Liverpool dealt another injury blow to striker

Liverpool have been dealt another injury blow, with the news Mario Balotelli has pulled out of the Italy squad having sustained a knock in training, reports the Liverpool Echo.

The forward is understood to have suffered the injury whilst training ahead of Italy’s European Championship qualifer with Croatia, and is set to return to Merseyside for treatment.

The Italy team doctor had confirmed Balotelli had picked up an injury on Friday, but did not seem concerned at the time.

He said: “Balotelli has a small hamstring problem. However, he’s not likely to have to leave the squad.”

However, it is now understood the injury involves the strikers groin and lower back, and is serious enough to see him withdraw from the squad.

Balotelli had returned to the Italy squad having been left out for the last round of qualifying matches by new boss Antonio Conte.

The forward has scored two goals since his arrival at Anfield in the summer, and is yet to open his account in the Premier League.

The severity of the injury is not yet known, but Liverpool will be hoping it is not serious having been without Daniel Sturridge for the past 14 matches in all competitions.

Balotelli and Sturridge have only played together for 60 minutes so far this season, during the 0-3 win over Tottenham on August 31.