Italian Serie A News, Results, Analysis and Features on Football Soccer

The new season is still a month away yet Inter are already feeling the wrath of the injury bug.  This past weekend saw two of the Nerazzurri goalkeepers go down with freak injuries.

Emiliano Viviano tore his ACL in his left knee during training on Saturday, while sliding to reach a ball in a practice match.  There was no one around him at that moment and the moment the tear happened, it was apparent it was very serious.  Viviano underwent reconstructive surgery yesterday afternoon in Pavia, under the supervision of Dr. Franco Combi, Inter’s chief of medical staff.  The operation was successful and Viviano is projected to be out anywhere from six to nine months.

Luca Castellazzi also suffered quite a scare this past weekend.  During Inter’s friendly against Galatasaray on Sunday, things were not so friendly as the Inter players were repeatedly fouled hard by the Turkish side.  Prior to the match, it was reported than nearly 300 Turkish fans tried to break in and storm the hotel that Inter were resting in.  The match finished 0-0 and the atmosphere of the whole day was very hostile towards the Nerazzurri.

Castellazzi was the victim of a knee to the head, courtesy of the English born Colin Kazim-Richards.  The Nerazzurri keeper was knocked out cold and was unconscious while acting Captain Dejan Stankovic hurried over to make sure Castellazzi had not swallowed his tongue.  He was carried off the pitch and rushed to the local hospital in Bochum, Germany, where the match was being held.  The test results came back negative, with Castellazzi “only” suffering a concussion.  Head injuries are always frightening, but with Inter, there is always an extra element of worry due to Cristian Chivu’s broken head injury of two seasons ago.

With the two injuries to the two backup keepers behind Inter’s number one, Julio Cesar, measures are being taken to fill the spot between the posts. There is a very real possibility of Cesar being recalled to the squad earlier than expected, thereby cutting his holidays short for the good of the squad.  The Brazilian, who is still on break due to this month’s Copa America, would hypothetically join his teammates in Ireland this coming weekend for the Dublin Super Cup and be in goal for the Supercoppa in Beijing against AC Milan on August 6.  He would then be allowed to take an extra week’s vacation in mid-August, after Brazil’s friendly on August 10.

Speaking of time off, the entire Inter squad was given Monday and Tuesday off before resuming training for the aforementioned Dublin Super Cup taking place this weekend.  A few players came in on Tuesday for their rehabilitation programs, including Thiago Motta, who has now joined the rest of the squad in the normal training regimen.  There is a double training session scheduled for Thursday, with the presentation of new Inter signing, Jonathan, penciled in between the morning and afternoon blocks.  The team will leave on Friday, with Inter facing Celtic on Saturday and Manchester City on Sunday.

The big news of this week that everyone in Italy was looking forward to was the announcement of the Serie A schedule for the 2011/12 season.  Aside from the usual drama that occurs when you place the owners, directors and presidents of all twenty Serie A clubs in a confined area, there are a few mouthwatering fixtures that everyone waits for.

Mark your calendars, buy your tickets, and book your hotels for the following rounds:

  • Match Day 3:  Inter – Roma (September 18)
  • Match Day 6:  Inter – Napoli (October 2)
  • Match Day 10:  Inter – Juventus (October 30)
  • Match Day 18:  AC Milan – Inter (January 15, 2012)

Inter’s fixture list for the upcoming season can be found at the official website.

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