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Joao Mario called up for Portugal, could return for Roma

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Portugal Coach Fernando Santos will call up Mario for the international break and even thinks he’s fit enough to play Sunday.

Empoli FC v FC Internazionale - Serie A Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

In the buildup to the match against Bologna, Joao Mario pulled out of the squad due to a slight muscle strain. The club never released a timeline for when they expected the midfielder to return but it looks like it will be very soon.

Portugal’s National Team coach Fernando Santos has selected Mario in his squad for the upcoming international break after the weekend rounds. During his press conference he said that there is nothing preventing the Inter player from racking up minutes for the national team. In fact, Santos believes that the 23 year old is able to play in Inter’s match against AS Roma on Sunday.

It’s unclear if De Boer agrees with this assessment but it’s safe to assume that Mario will get some minutes on Sunday. Ever Banega ended up playing the full 90 minutes in the loss against Sparta Prague today so the Argentine playmaker will likely spend some time on the bench against Roma. It’s been made adequately clear that the midfield clunks up when Mario and Banega are both not on the field (and to be quite honest it looks like things get a little more hectic when just J. Mario is gone) so the ex-Sporting man will need to be on the field on Sunday.

Let’s hope we’re not rushing him back.