November 2, 2018 / 3:54 PM / 14 days ago

Inter say Nainggolan could return against Genoa

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Champions League - Group Stage - Group B - PSV Eindhoven v Inter Milan - Philips Stadium, Eindhoven, Netherlands - October 3, 2018 Inter Milan's Radja Nainggolan celebrates scoring their first goal REUTERS/Piroschka van de Wouw/File Photo

MILAN (Reuters) - Inter Milan’s prize summer signing Radja Nainggolan, injured in the derby against AC Milan two weeks ago, could be back for Saturday’s match at home to Genoa, coach Luciano Spalletti said on Friday.

The combative 30-year-old, who joined the club for 38 million euros from AS Roma, suffered a sprained ankle after a challenge by Lucas Biglia and limped off in the first half of Inter’s 1-0 win on Oct 21.

“I’ll bring Nainggolan with me, it seems unlikely that he’ll play a key role tomorrow but he’s in the group and he could play for 30 minutes because he has the character and the will to be there,” said Spalletti.

Inter made a slow start to the season but have won their last six Serie A matches and have climbed to second in the league, although they are six points behind leaders Juventus.

“It’s right to keep our good performances in mind but we can’t forget the bad displays where we didn’t get any points,” said Spalletti.

Spalletti singled out midfielder Joao Mario for praise after the Portuguese Euro 2016 winner, left out of the first nine games, played an important role in Monday’s 3-0 win away to Lazio.

“Joao Mario didn’t feature for nine games but he showed that he was ready to work in the right way as soon as I called on him,” he said.

Writing by Brian Homewood; editing by Martyn Herman

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