Ranocchia injury adds to Inter troubles

ROME - Brief news ahead of this weekend and Monday's Serie A matches.

Inter Milan, who visit Sampdoria on Sunday, will be without Andrea Ranocchia for between 15 and 20 days after the Italian defender twisted his knee in the 1-0 defeat Champions League defeat to Bayern Munich. It had initially been feared Ranocchia could be out of action for several months.

After Wednesday's match at the San Siro, distressed goalkeeper Julio Cesar, whose mistake led to Mario Gomez's last-gasp winner, left his car at the stadium and braved the crowd by walking home, Italian newspaper reports said.

Leaders AC Milan have veteran defender Gianluca Zambrotta back in training after persistent knee troubles.

However, they are likely to start with Massimo Oddo at left-back in place of Luca Antonini, who has been sidelined for three weeks, when they host second-placed Napoli at the San Siro on Monday.

"The match will not decide the scudetto," said chief executive Adriano Galliani. "It's just three out of the 36 points still in play."

Napoli, who could go top if they beat Milan, have rejected potential big-money moves for Uruguay forward Edinson Cavani, Serie A's topscorer with 20 goals.

"I would say 'arrivederci' to any offers," said club president Aurelio De Laurentiis. "Our next step is to build a Napoli along the lines of Barcelona, mixing success with entertainment."

AS Roma, who defeated Bologna 1-0 in midweek to move up to sixth, will soon have Adriano competing for a place in their attacking line-up.

The 29-year old, who had been in Brazil recovering from a shoulder operation, landed back in Rome on Thursday, four days after coach Claudio Ranieri resigned.

Vincenzo Montella, who dropped former playing partner and club captain Francesco Totti in his first match in charge, looks set to make another tough call for the visit of struggling Parma on Sunday.

Parma coach Pasquale Marino has been given a vote of confidence by club sporting director Pietro Leonardi after a run of one win in eight games that has seen them drop to fifth from bottom.

Ahead of the match at Roma on Sunday, the Parma squad have been brought together in a secluded location in the country. "It is a constructive decision, not a punishment," said Leonardi. "Everyone must share responsibility for where we are, not just the coach."

Eighth-placed Palermo will be without striker Fabrizio Miccoli for Sunday's clash with Udinese, who are fifth. The so-called 'Romario of Salento', who has missed most of the season following a slow recovering from surgery to cruciate ligaments, looks set to be out for a further two weeks with a heel injury.