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By ESPN Staff

Milito set to start

Argentina striker Diego Milito is set to return to Inter Milan's starting line-up when they host Schalke on Tuesday in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final.

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Sidelined since February 6 with a thigh injury, Milito came on as a second-half substitute in Inter's 3-0 defeat at AC Milan on Saturday.

"I am physically and mentally well," Milito said. "I am in good condition. I am delighted to have returned and I'm eager to help the team.

"It has been a difficult season for me due to injuries but I am ready to transform the anger into positive energy and give my contribution to the team."

Milito does not believe Saturday's defeat in the city derby has affected the Nerazzurri camp ahead of Tuesday's match. That setback dropped Inter to third in the standings, five points adrift of Serie A leaders AC Milan with seven games remaining.

"We have put that defeat behind us," Milito said. "We are only thinking about tomorrow's match - more so, after a defeat.

"We don't have to prove anything to anyone. We've had a starring role in this competition so far and we intend to keep it."

Inter, who beat Bayern Munich in last season's final in Madrid thanks to two goals from Milito, have already faced German opposition twice this campaign.

They beat Werder Bremen 4-0 at home in the group stages before eliminating Bayern Munich in the round of 16. Inter have won three and lost just once at the San Siro in the competition this season.

"We are convinced we can progress to the next stage, but Schalke are a strong team and we respect them," he said. "You don't arrive to the quarter-finals just like that and it will be a difficult tie. We want to play a great game and win tomorrow."

Inter coach Leonardo has warned his side will have to keep a close eye on Schalke striker Raul. The former Real Madrid captain has scored three goals in eight Champions League appearances for Schalke this season.

"Raul is the symbol of Schalke's good form," Leonardo said. "He is always a very dangerous player."

The hosts will be without injured Walter Samuel and David Suazo as well as defender Lucio, who is suspended.


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