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Milito to miss Argentina's crunch qualifiers

  • Story Highlights
  • Argentina striker Diego Milito ruled out of the final two World Cup qualifiers
  • Thigh injury means Milito misses matches against Peru and Uruguay
  • Coach Diego Maradona names Boca Juniors forward Martin Palermo in squad
  • Argentina battling to qualify for next year's finals in South Africa
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(CNN) -- Argentina will be missing striker Diego Milito for the final two World Cup qualifiers against Peru and Uruguay as Diego Maradona's struggling team battle to reach the finals in 2010.

Diego Milito has had only a bit-part role for Argentina despite his good form for Inter Milan.

Diego Milito has had only a bit-part role for Argentina despite his good form for Inter Milan.

Milito is expected to be sidelined for the next month after injuring his thigh while playing for Italian champions Inter Milan on Saturday.

The 30-year-old was replaced by Mario Balotelli 25 minutes into the 2-1 victory against Udinese at the San Siro, and scans have shown that he suffered a first-degree strain in his right thigh.

The Albiceleste go into Saturday's home clash with Peru on a run of four defeats in the last five games which has left the team outside the top-four automatic qualifying spots.

While bottom side Peru have no chance of qualifying, Wednesday's opponents Uruguay lie just a point behind Argentina in sixth and will be hoping to at least clinch the play-off position in the South American zone.

Milito has made a flying start to his career with Inter this season, scoring five goals in his first seven games, but he has had only a bit-part role in Argentina's qualifying campaign so far.

Coach Maradona, who can call on the likes of Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero, Carlos Tevez and Ezequiel Lavezzi up front, has retained Boca Juniors striker Martin Palermo in his squad.

Palermo scored both goals in the 2-0 friendly win over Ghana last week, and was also on target for his club at the weekend in a 3-2 victory against Velez Sarsfield.

Enzo Perez is also added to the 26-man squad after making his debut against the Africans, along with Estudiantes teammate Juan Sebastian Veron and Velez Sarsfield defender Nicolas Otamendi.

Colon goalkeeper Diego Pozo, Newell's Old Boys defender Rolando Schiavi, Boca duo Federico Insua and Luciano Fabian Monzon and Huracan midfielder Mario Bolatti are also included among the home-based players.

All About Diego MaradonaDiego MilitoArgentinaPeruUruguayWorld Cup Soccer

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