Six Inter players positive for COVID-19 ahead of Milan derby

Inter Milan - COVID-19
Photo by Giuseppe Maffia/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Six Inter Milan players have tested positive for COVID-19 over the last five days, with former Manchester United defender Ashley Young the latest among them, ahead of Saturday’s Milan derby.

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Young joins defenders Alessandro Bastoni and Milan Skriniar, midfielders Radja Nainggolan and Roberto Gagliardini and backup goalkeeper Ionuț Radu as players currently quarantining at home after returning positive coronavirus tests over the last week.

Inter Milan’s hated derby foe, AC Milan, announced on Friday that star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic had fully recovered from COVID-19 and was set to make his return to the team on Saturday.

Just last week, Napoli were barred from traveling to Turin for their highly anticipated title-race showdown with Juventus after two players tested positive for the virus. Those positive tests came as a result — whether directly or indirectly — of playing Genoa the weekend prior. Genoa returned as many as 16 positive cases in the days after that game.

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Perhaps the saving grace for Saturday’s game will be the ample amount of time between games, which has allowed the club to thoroughly test its players multiple times during the current international break. In Napoli’s case, the turnaround time of seven days between games was, medically, not long enough for every player who may, or may not, have contracted the virus while playing against Genoa, to return a positive test during an incubation period which can take as long as two weeks.

Saturday’s derby is currently expected to be played as scheduled. While Inter will undoubtedly be shorthanded for one of the biggest games of their season, at least both sides can feel relatively confident that no one on the field poses a risk of transmitting the virus to anyone else.

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