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 reported Saturday 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.
Balotelli is near-sighted and has worn contact lenses for years but the lenses have caused allergies recently and an abscess that led to conjunctivitis, which ruled him out of Italy's friendly with England last month.
Balotelli was initially slated to have the operation immediately after the European Championship, but it was postponed when he went on vacation, the Gazzetta reported.
"He can't delay any longer," Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini told the Gazzetta. "Mario can't handle the contact lenses anymore. He's better now but it could become a bother again at any time."
Balotelli led Italy with three goals when the Azzurri reached the Euro 2012 final in July.