Antonio Conte questioned the fitness of Alexis Sanchez after the Manchester United loanee was an unused substitute for his side.
Sanchez did not make it off the bench in Inter's 1-1 draw with Atalanta on Saturday night, the second match in a row he has found himself among the substitutes.
Atalanta missed an injury-time penalty as Conte's side - who are the Serie A leaders - failed to find the attacking breakthrough to win the game.
Afterwards the former Chelsea manager fielded questions about his decision not to involve Sanchez, and said: "You ask me about (Alexis) Sanchez, well in order to play the guys have to be fit. I am not crazy, I am neither an imbecile or someone who likes to hurt himself.
"I know that one plus one makes two, but if in your opinion it makes five. If I decide to put somebody on the pitch it's because I have my reasons. It's not like I want to do hara-kiri or I am demented."
And he added: "We are Inter, they are Atalanta. With all due respect, in this moment they are showing they are a great team, they are a finished product, while we are at the beginning.
"Today, as long as we could make it, we played on level terms, but then it's clear that when you have Stefano (Sensi) coming back in after three months out it wasn't easy."