Cristian Chivu has lost his battle to return from a thigh injury in time for Inter Milan's Champions League last-16 second leg at Manchester United on Wednesday, the Serie A leaders said on their website.
Fellow defender Walter Samuel is in the squad after passing a fitness test.
Inter are short-handed in defence as centre backs Nicolas Burdisso and Marco Materazzi were injured in Saturday's 2-0 win over Genoa. Inter and United drew 0-0 in the first leg in Milan last month.
AS Roma's Brazilian right back Cicinho will have surgery on Monday on a knee ligament injury, the Serie A club said on their website.
Media reports said he would be out for the rest of the season.