Italy’s most capped player, Sergio Parisse will miss the Azzurri’s first two Test of this year’s Six Nations championship as he recovers from a wrist issue.
In December, Parisse said he was ready for a Test return after last playing for his country at the 2019 World Cup, when his farewell match against New Zealand was wiped out by a typhoon.
The No 8 last featured for his club, Toulon, in early December due to the injury.
The Azzurri start their campaign in France on 6 February before hosting England the following weekend.
They travel to Ireland on 27 February and will then finish the tournament by hosting Scotland and heading to Wales.
“He hasn’t played the last three to four weeks,” head coach Kieran Crowley told reporters on Thursday.
“We discussed and agreed that the plan would be that he’ll play with his club, they have four matches in the next weeks.
“Then we’ll reconsider a call-up for the Ireland match or for the two others. He needs to rediscover some confidence after such a long time without playing,” he added.
Parisse is set to feature for Toulon on Saturday as they head to Worcester Warriors in the European Challenge Cup.
Italy’s Six Nations squad:
Backs (14) – Pierre Bruno, Monty Ioane, Tommaso Menoncello, Federico Mori, Edoardo Padovani; Juan Ignacio Brex, Luca Morisi, Marco Zanon; Giacomo Da Re, Paolo Garbisi, Leonardo Marin; Callum Braley, Alessandro Fusco, Stephen Varney.
Forwards (19) – Toa Halafihi, Michele Lamaro (c), Sebastian Negri, Giovanni Pettinelli, Braam Steyn, Manuel Zuliani; Niccolo Cannone, Marco Fuser, Federico Ruzza, David Sisi; Pietro Ceccarelli, Danilo Fischetti, Ivan Nemer, Tiziano Pasquali, Cherif Traore, Giosue Zilocchi; Epalahame Faiva, Gianmarco Lucchesi, Giacomo Nicotera.
© Agence France-Presse