Inter Milan's Mauro Icardi in the stands .Photo: Daniele Mascolo/Reuters

MILAN Disgruntled Inter Milan striker Mauro Icardi returned to training with the club on Thursday after a month on the sidelines amid a protracted contract dispute.

The 26-year-old Argentine has been absent since February 13 after being stripped of the captain's armband.

He had complained of a knee injury but the club insisted a scan has not revealed any new injury.

But he returned to the fold at the team's Appiano Gentile training centre, north of Milan, training separately in a reduced squad as many of his teammates are on international duty.

The strained relationship had thawed in recent days with Icardi missing the team's 3-2 derby win over city rivals AC Milan which moved them third in Serie A, two points ahead of their rivals.

Inter are 22 points behind leaders Juventus, and 13 adrift of second-placed Napoli.

Luciano Spalletti's side have crashed out of the Europa league and are now looking to consolidate next year's Champions League place.

Icardi  joint top scorer in Serie A last season with 29 goals  has scored 15 goals in all competitions for the club this term.

He has not scored in the league since December 15, with his last game against Parma on February 9.

Inter next play Lazio on March 31.

AFP