Francesco Totti is set to return to action on Monday night against AC Milan at the San Siro, the scene of his last appearance in a Roma shirt and one of his happiest hunting grounds.
The Giallorossi captain has been sidelined since picking up a thigh injury during his side's 3-0 win at Inter Milan on Oct. 5. He returned to the bench as an unused substitute for last weekend's 2-1 win over Fiorentina, and now he is ready to return to action at a venue where he has netted 14 times in his career.
"He's not yet 100 percent, but he's more ready now to help the team and give it his best," said Roma coach Rudi Garcia, who was coy about whether the 37-year-old will start on the bench or on the field. "Certainly with Francesco, we're stronger. It's far better for the group to have Il Capitano than not to have him."
Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri hopes he will have a good view of Totti sitting in his neighbouring dugout.
"I'd prefer it if Totti didn't play because he is a catalyst of their game," he said. "He creates lots of chances and raises the quality of the side, so it would be better for us if he doesn't play, but that's not how I think it will be. Roma are a tough team to face."
Allegri could have been sat on the visiting bench with Totti, had Milan president Silvio Berlusconi not been talked into keeping him with the Rossoneri in the summer. The 46-year-old was understood to be Roma's first choice to replace Aurelio Andreazzoli, and they turned to Garcia only after learning he was unavailable.
"Roma are not the only club who enquired about me," Allegri said at a news conference. "But I have no regrets. I'm very happy to have remained with Milan. I want to finish off my job here in the best way possible."