Benitez: Inter injury crisis not my fault

LONDON - Inter Milan manager Rafa Benitez delivered another of his famous statistically-led retorts on Monday to prove that his team were not suffering more than their fair share of injuries.

The Italian and European champions have undoubtedly had problems this season with La Gazzetta dello Sport identifying 15 muscle-related injuries since the start of the season.

Inter arrived in London for Tuesday's Champions League game with Tottenham Hotspur without half a dozen first-team contenders.

Goalkeeper Julio Cesar and midfielder Esteban Cambiasso are the most recent victims having picked up thigh strains in Friday's 1-0 league win in Genoa and both miss the White Hart Lane match.

Benitez, however, said there was nothing out of the ordinary and that even if there was, it was not his fault.

"All teams have injuries, we have a certain amount of muscle-related injuries but 40 percent of them were picked up on national team duty," the Spaniard told a news conference.

"Also, 85 percent of them are recurring from last year.

"We are playing a lot of games of course but 80 percent of our training time is spent with the ball," he added, countering Italian media suggestions that his training regime is at the heart of the problem.

"We are playing a lot of games and we have half the recovery time now compared with previous years and two years ago there were even more injuries here.

"You must remember that last year we played a lot of games in three competitions and we had the World Cup.

"The only puzzling one is (Kenyan) McDonald Moriga. "He got his on national duty and it's hard to understand why a player of his ability has an injury like that at the moment."

With an overcrowded treatment room and a world club championship fixture to add to the already busy schedule Benitez said it would be a real bonus to win on Tuesday to secure qualification for the knockout phase with two games to spare.

"In previous seasons they've found it tougher, getting through in the penultimate or last match so if we win tomorrow we can relax a little bit and the players certainly know that," he said.