Inter Milan will be without Wesley Sneijder Saturday against Calgiari and could potentially be missing their Dutch playmaker for the first leg of their Wednesday Champions League match with Bayern Munich. A leg injury suffered mid-week against Fiorentina had forced Inter coach Leonardo to exclude his star midfielder from the squad for tomorrow's match. His current status for the first leg of their tie with Bayern is doubtful.
The severity of Sneijder's injury is surprising. Although 26-year-old limped off the pitch Wednesday against Fiorentina, he was expected to have recovered for this weekend's match. With a minor known, Sneijder may have been expected to rest this weekend in preparation for Inter's resumption of Champions League, but with his injury putting next Wednesday's match in doubt, Sneijder's fitness may represent on of the first hardships of Leonardo's tenure.
The new Inter manager has had to deal with Sneijder's absence before. Seven times since taking over Inter Milan, Leonardo's started an XI without Sneijder. The coach's most common choice is using Dejan Stnkovic beneath a striking tandem. On one occasion, Leonardo started three strikers (and unlikely option on Wednesday, given the absences of Giampaolo Pazzini, and Diego Milito). Once, Brazilian prospect Philippe Coutinho was utilized in the Sneijder role. Goran Pandev has also received no start in Sneijder's absences.