Zanetti expected to return for Inter

MILAN - Brief news from Serie A before this weekend's Serie A matches:

Javier Zanetti, 37, is expected to return to the team after a rare injury as second-placed Inter Milan visit Cagliari on Sunday. The Argentine has been out of action for nearly a month since being winded by a blow in the ribs during a 2-1 win over Palermo.

Zanetti's recovery was a rare piece of good news for coach Rafael Benitez whose squad is plagued by injuries. Striker Diego Milito is out after sustaining a thigh injury during Argentina's 1-0 friendly defeat to Japan one week ago and his compatriot Esteban Cambiasso will also be absent with a similar problem.

To add to Benitez's worries, Brazilian Thiago Motta is in doubt after sustaining a knee injury. Milito said in an interview on Inter's website that he expected to be back in under a month and said there was no truth in rumours about his future which have been lingering since the Champions League final.

Juventus midfielders Felipe Melo and Mohamed Sissoko had to be pulled apart by team mates after nearly coming to blows at a training session, Italian media reported. The Brazilian and Malian later made up.

Forward Vincenzo Iaquinta is expected to play against Lecce on Sunday despite complaining of muscle fatigue. Juventus are seventh in the table.

AC Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who had previously said he expected to play at home to Chievo Verona on Saturday despite struggling with a groin problem, may change his mind.

The Swede, who has been using Twitter to keep the supporters informed of his progress, said that he had not been able to train because of stomach cramps and wanted to be fully fit for Tuesday's Champions League visit to Real Madrid.

His fellow striker Alexander Pato has boosted his confidence by scoring in each of Brazil's friendlies in the last week, against Iran and Ukraine.

AS Roma forward Mirko Vucinic is doubtful for Saturday's home game to Genoa because of a thigh injury. The Montenegro international, who scored in his country's shock 1-0 Euro 2012 win over Switzerland a week ago, missed the 0-0 draw away to England on Tuesday for the same reason.

Palermo's Argentine midfielder Javier Pastore has attracted interest from some of Europe's biggest clubs, including Barcelona and Chelsea, according to Italian and Spanish media.

The 21-year-old, who was in Argentina's World Cup squad, has been at the club for just over a year following his move from Huracan.


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