Cafu and Inzaghi give Milan fitness boosts

April 24, 2006
By Simon Evans

MILAN, April 24 (Reuters) - AC Milan's fitness worries ahead of their Champions League semi-final, second leg at Barcelona have eased slightly with Brazilian Cafu and striker Filippo Inzaghi declaring themselves fit for Wednesday's game.

Milan, who trail 1-0 from the first leg, were forced to substitute three players inside the opening 28 minutes of Saturday's 3-1 Serie A win at Messina.

Brazilian Kaka and Italy defender Alessandro Nesta were both substituted with injuries and then midfielder Massimo Ambrosini, who had replaced Kaka, also had to go off.

After the game, Cafu and striker Andriy Shevchenko also had to receive treatment and the club said they would wait until after training on Tuesday before making any decision about player fitness.

Right-back Cafu though says he will be ready for the game at the Nou Camp: "I'm fine, I've recovered and I'll be ready for Wednesday's game," the Brazilian told Milan's website.

Inzaghi, who missed the Messina game and the first leg against Barca due to a virus, also said he was now available.

The biggest worry for coach Carlo Ancelotti is central defender Nesta who picked up a thigh muscle strain against Messina and faces a fight to be fit in time for the trip to Spain.

Should he not make it then Ancelotti could ask Dutch defender Jaap Stam to play alongside Georgian Kakha Kaladze in the centre of defence.

Kaka (knee) and Shevchenko (achilles) are both reported to have good chances of being fit according to Italian newspaper reports on Monday.