Inter's Vieira suffers thigh injury woe

August 1, 2008

MILAN, Aug 1 (Reuters) - Inter Milan midfielder Patrick Vieira risks missing the start of the season after the Serie A champions said on Friday he has injured his left thigh.

The club added that tests showed the France captain, who took part in Tuesday's pre-season mini-tournament also involving AC Milan and Juventus, has suffered a strain just above the area of the injury that prevented him playing at Euro 2008.

'I'm sorry but I remain optimistic,' Vieira, who was also troubled by injury last season, told Inter's website.

'I'll do everything to be available at the start of the season. I'm not giving up. Beating bad luck is one of my aims, along with winning lots more with Inter.'

On Wednesday, Inter president Massimo Moratti said the Italian champions may be forced back into the transfer market because of an injury crisis in their defence, after they lost Marco Materazzi to a knock in Turin on Tuesday.

Centre backs Walter Samuel, Cristian Chivu and Ivan Corboda are also not yet fit for the Serie A kickoff on Aug. 31 with the trio all having undergone surgery in recent months.