Key Inter Milan Midfielder Unlikely To Return For First Leg Vs Benfica With 15-20 Days Out Injured
Inter midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu is unlikely to be ready to return from injury in the first leg of the Nerazzurri’s Champions League quarterfinal tie against Benfica due to a thigh injury.
This according to Italian broadcaster Sky Sport Italia, via FCInterNews, who report that the thigh strain which the 29-year-old is currently recovering from should rule him out of action for around fifteen to twenty days.
Calhanoglu’s injury was assessed by Inter’s medical staff today, with the Turkish international having had to come off in the first half of his national team’s EURO 2024 qualifier against Croatia on Tuesday.
The club confirmed that the former AC Milan and Bayer Leverkusen is suffering from a strain to the adductor muscles in his right thigh.
Whilst it is not certain precisely how long it will take for Calhanoglu to return to fitness, Sky report that the injury is forecast to keep the 29-year-old sidelined for over two weeks.
Given that the Nerazzurri face Benfica at the Estadio da Luz in the first leg of their Champions League quarterfinal tie in less than two weeks, this means that the Turk’s availability for that match is a major doubt.
Sky suggest that the target for the 29-year-old’s return may therefore be the second leg of the quarterfinal tie against the Portuguese league leaders at the San Siro the following week.
Given that Calhanoglu is a massively important player for the Nerazzurri, having already made 36 appearances this seasons across all competitions, his absence could be a big blow for the team in the first leg against Benfica.
The Turk will also miss Serie A matches against Fiorentina and Juventus, and the first leg of a Coppa Italia semifinal first leg against Juventus based on Sky’s projection.
In the meantime, the likes of Marcelo Brozovic and Kristjan Asllani are at Simone Inzaghi’s disposal to play the deepest role in midfield that haas become Calhanoglu’s main position this season.