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The Nerazzurri defender is confident the Argentine will make a return to first team action next term, but admits his absence is a huge blow

Inter defender Andrea Ranocchia has revealed his sadness after Javier Zanetti suffered a serious Achilles tendon injury.

The club captain was carried from the field in agony during Sunday's 1-0 defeat to Palermo, and further investigation revealed he is set to miss the rest of the campaign and possibly all of pre-season.

“We’re all so upset because it’s a long and painful injury. I’ve been through one myself, so I know what its like,” he told Sky Sport Italia.

“We’re also sorry because he’s our captain, he has been ever since I was born, and he’s an example to us all. But with the physical and mental strength he’s got, I'm sure he'll be back soon.”

Where there is loss there is opportunity and Ranocchia was given the armband against the Rosanero in Zanetti’s absence, a responsibility he would relish on a more regular basis.

“It’s a difficult armband to wear because it’s been worn by Javier for so long and before him by many other footballing icons. I hope I was up to the task for the time it was on my arm," he said.

“I'd be honoured to wear it again of course, but there are lots of other lads who have been here for a long time, those who have won the treble, and it’s only right that the armband should go to them."

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