ROME (AP) -- Italy flanker Alessandro Zanni will be in a race to be fit for the Rugby World Cup following right knee surgery.
Zanni had his anterior cruciate ligament reconstructed on Thursday, and the Italian rugby federation said on Friday he will be out for five months.
Zanni was injured in the 26-3 loss to Ireland in Rome last weekend in the opening round of the Six Nations.
He has 87 caps since his debut in 2005, and has played in the last two World Cups.
In another serious injury for Italy, outside center Michele Campagnaro will be out for 40 days after hurting his left knee.
Italy plays England at Twickenham on Saturday.