Milan - Italy midfielder Claudio Marchisio will miss Euro 2016 after his club Juventus confirmed he has ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.
Juventus star Marchisio was stretchered off 15 minutes into the champions' 4-0 victory over Palermo in Turin after a challenge that left him rolling on the turf in pain.
Juve's victory took their Serie A lead over Napoli to nine points with five games remaining, but the shine was taken off their achievements by the setback to Marchisio.
Subjected to a MRI scan immediately after the game, the Italian champions released a statement that Italy's fans -- given Marchisio's contributions to the Italy team -- do not want to hear.
"The scan confirmed suspicions of a ruptured anterior crucial ligament in the left knee," Juventus said on their official website.
"In the coming days the player will undergo an operation."
A return to competitive action following an ACL rupture can take six to nine months, meaning Marchisio will be ruled out for the rest of the season and would miss this summer's football showpiece in France.
It is a significant blow to the Azzurri ahead of this summer's tournament in France, where Italy will be looking to make amends for two consecutive first-round exits from the past two editions of the World Cup.
Teammate Leonardo Bonucci, who also plays for Italy, posted a message of support on Twitter which said: "Marchisio is a great person and true champ. It's a big loss."
Juventus are aiming for a fifth consecutive league title, a feat they last achieved in 1935.