AC Milan's Nesta may be forced into retirement

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Will injury spell the premature end to the distinguished career of AC Milan center back Alessandro Nesta?

The Rossoneri stopper has spent more time in the treatment room than on the pitch over the past few seasons with an ongoing back problem.

He has missed a number of important games for his side and he may end up missing the rest of this season -- as well as future campaigns.

Turin-based newspaper La Stampa claims the former Italian international may have no choice but to hang up his boots as a result of his injury.

It is believed Nesta has a problem with a slipped disc in his back, and he has been allowed to fly back to Miami to see a specialist.

Reports suggest the stopper may even need an operation which could put his career in jeopardy. If Nesta does need surgery then the chances of his returning to the game will be slim.

The Italian has been a great servant to the club since joining it from Lazio in 2002.

Milan fans will be hoping the World Cup-winning defender doesn't need surgery so he can return to the pitch sooner rather than later.