FC Internazionale Milano centre-backs Cristian Chivu and Marco Materazzi are poised to return to the Nerazzurri fold earlier than anticipated and ease the club's defensive problems in the UEFA Champions League.
Chivu, 26, missed Inter's defeat at Fenerbahçe SK on Matchday 1 having dislocated his left shoulder during Romania's friendly international against Germany earlier this month, but should be back in domestic action by the weekend. "I think that Chivu, with a bit of pain and suffering, could be available for Saturday's game against AS Roma," said Inter coach Roberto Mancini. "And then he will also have to play in the Champions League [against PSV Eindhoven]."
The PSV tie on 2 October will come too soon for Materazzi, though, as the Italian international is still overcoming a thigh injury sustained in August. Materazzi was expected to be sidelined for four months after surgery yet is making progress in his recovery. The 34-year-old could be available for selection for Inter's Group G trip to PFC CSKA Moskva on 23 October.
"He is working well but his muscle has to regain tone," Mancini said. "We will not take any risks with him but he could be ready to play against [SSC] Napoli on 6 October, or at least after the break for internationals." The news will come as a boost to Mancini, who is unable to call on the defensive services of Nicolás Burdisso, Maicon and Iván Córdoba as a result of suspensions imposed by UEFA following post-match incidents against Valencia CF last season.
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