Zanetti eyes comeback against Livorno

Inter veteran Javier Zanetti is eyeing a long-awaited return to first-team action against Livorno on Saturday after Achilles surgery.

The versatile defender has been missing since damaging his Achilles in a 1-0 defeat at Palermo in April, and he was forced to go under the knife to correct the problem.

At 40 years old, the injury had sparked rumours that Zanetti could call time on his illustrious playing career, which has seen him win five Serie A titles and the UEFA Champions League, but he quickly quelled that speculation.

Zanetti has now fully recovered and was an unused substitute in the 3-0 triumph over Udinese on Sunday, and he is now hopeful of at least coming off the bench against Davide Nicola's side this weekend.

"I am close to my return to the field," he told Radio RTL. "Against Udinese my team-mates gave us a wonderful victory and I was on the bench, but I feel fine now.

"On Saturday we face Livorno and I hope there can be the opportunity for me to play a few minutes. We'll see."

After finishing ninth last season, Inter have made bright start to the Serie A season under Walter Mazzarri and sit fourth after taking 22 points from 11 fixtures.