Defender Stefan de Vrij will start for Inter Milan in their upcoming Champions League match against Atletico Madrid with Francesco Acerbi injured.

This according to Italian news outlet

Defender Acerbi had started Saturday’s match against Roma.

The former Lazio and Sassuolo defender took up his usual position in the centre of Inter’s back three.

But Acerbi was unable to see out the full ninety minutes.

Just after the hour mark, the 35-year-old went down off the ball holding his calf in evident discomfort.

Acerbi made clear to the bench that he would need to come off as a substitute immediately.

Therefore, the Italian international played no further part in the match, a 4-2 win for Inter in the end.

Another ex-Lazio defender replaced Acerbi, in the form of Dutch international Stefan de Vrij. The 32-year-old saw out the last half hour of the match at the Stadio Olimpico.

Stefan De Vrij To Start For Inter Vs Atletico Madrid With Acerbi Injured

According to the Gazzetta, there is no doubt that Acerbi will miss Inter’s next match, against Salernitana on Friday.

But not only that. The Italian international would also be very unlikely to return in time for next Tuesday’s Champions League round of sixteen first leg against Atletico Madrid.

Therefore, de Vrij will once again be called to action.

The Dutchman will almost certainly start not just against Salernitana, but also against Atletico.

De Vrij will play in the central position in the Inter back three.

As far as when Acerbi will be able to return, that is less certain.

Inter have confirmed that the 35-year-old suffered a “slight muscle strain.” And the issue appeared to be in the same muscle that had caused him to miss around a month at the start of the season.

Therefore, further assessments will be required to get a better idea of the timeline for Acerbi to return.