Inter Milan boss Luciano Spalletti hopes Ivan Perisic’s injury is not serious after he was forced off in their 0-0 Europa League draw at Eintracht Frankfurt.
The Croatian winger suffered an adductor injury in his left thigh during Inter’s first leg against Frankfurt and had to come off in the 59th-minute for Antonio Candreva, who received a yellow card the same minute he came on.
But Spalletti is hopeful Inter will not have to wait long for Perisic’s return to action.
“He has an issue with the adductor muscle but we hope that he came off in time,” Spalletti told Sky Sport Italia.
“Let’s hope that he’ll be back soon because Ivan is a real racehorse on the muscular side and he can deal with these problems well.”
The Nerazzurri played out a goalless draw in the first leg of their last-16 tie in Germany and will now have to find the net at home in the return fixture next week if they are to progress to the next round.
Although Inter will be left to rue Marcelo Brozovic’s costly penalty miss early in the game after Paris Saint-Germain loanee Kevin Trapp saved his effort for Frankfurt.
Nevertheless, Spalletti was pleased with Inter’s performance even if it did drop off in the second half.
“I must praise the guys because they played with authority and personality, making an impact on the game,” said the Italian.
“It wasn’t easy here. In these type of matches, qualification is fought for over 180 minutes. Only the second-leg result will determine if this 0-0 is a positive result.
“In the first half, we regained possession against a top team and we made some positive decisions. In the second, our passing was increasingly timid and we were caught out by the opposition.
“We dropped off in terms of quality and started to buy time too frequently. We lost too many duels and full-blooded challenges. That’s just what we’re like but we put in a good performance”.
Inter will next face SPAL at the San Siro on Sunday for a Serie A match before playing host to Frankfurt for the return leg of their Europa League last-16 tie next Thursday.