Icardi hints at injury as the reason for him withdrawing from Inter squad

Mauro Icardi appeared to confirm that he is suffering from an injury on Thursday as his absence from Inter's Europa League squad took a further twist.

Icardi was replaced by Samir Handanovic as captain on Wednesday and was later a notable absentee when the club named a 19-man party for the trip to Rapid Vienna in the round of 32. 

Despite an initial assumption Icardi had been dropped, coach Luciano Spalletti later clarified that the Argentina international withdrew from the squad himself, although the Nerazzurri boss did not offer a reason.

"Icardi was called up, and has decided not to travel to Vienna," he explained to  Sky Sport .

"Tomorrow we have a big game, there will be time to clarify things. It has been a tough, painful decision which he probably has not taken well, made with the team's well-being in mind.

"The things going on around Icardi have disturbed us, both him and the team which he used to captain. But we think it is for the best on the pitch, from the next game onwards. We hope that the players react properly."

There was also only a vague explanation for Icardi's loss of the captaincy, with the striker's persistent links to a move away thought to be a factor in Spalletti's decision, which he said was made because "things around him have disturbed him and the team he captained".

Real Madrid have been strongly linked with a move for the Argentine, who has scored 122 goals in 210 games in all competitions for the Nerazzurri.

Mauro Icardi Instagram Story

Reports on Thursday suggested Icardi will also miss Sunday's clash with Sampdoria due to an ankle injury - an issue that was not mentioned by Spalletti at Wednesday's news conference.

And the striker appeared to back up those claims by posting a picture of himself receiving treatment on Instagram with the caption: "Therapy time day one".

The 25-year-old has nine goals in 18 Serie A appearances this season, having scored 29 in 34 games last term.

Inter are currently third in the table in Italy's top flight, 20 points behind leaders Juventus, while they'll be seen as one of the favourites to win the Europa League ahead of Thursday's last-32 first leg tie in Vienna.