Midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu looked to be “playing on eggshells” in his return to the Inter Milan lineup against Bologna.

This is the view in today’s print edition of Turin-based newspaper Tuttosport, via FCInterNews. The newspaper suggested that the Turk was using the match as a kind of preparation for Wednesday’s clash with Atletico Madrid.

Calhanoglu started yesterday for the first time in three matches.

The 30-year-old had missed Serie A matches against the likes of Lecce, Atalanta, and Genoa due to injury.

Calhanoglu had been out with a thigh strain.

But it was straight back into the starting eleven for the former AC Milan and Bayer Leverkusen midfielder.

Calhanoglu did not just come back as a substitute in the second half, as striker Marcus Thuram and defender Francesco Acerbi had done against Genoa last week.

Rather, the Turkish international started. He played the first sixty minutes of the match, before coming off for Kristjan Asllani.

Evidently, Inter coach Simone Inzaghi had decided that playing from the start would be the best way for Calhanoglu to build fitness for the second leg of the team’s Champions League tie against Atletico Madrid.

Hakan Calhanoglu “Playing On Eggshells” On Inter Vs Bologna

In the view of Tuttosport, Calhanoglu’s situation was obvious in his performance.

It was not a risk-taking performance from the 30-year-old. He certainly was not going to put his fitness in jeopardy for the match against Atletico.

Therefore, Calhanoglu seemed to play within himself at times.

This was particularly the case in terms of the defensive side of the game.

Calhanoglu has become more and more of a force this season in terms of his tireless tracking back and take-no-prisoners tackling.

But there was little of that from the Turk yesterday.

Calhanoglu did just about keep things ticking over while he was on the pitch. But he did little more than that, in truth.