Benzema adds to Real's growing injury woes

Benzema adds to Real's growing injury woes

Karim Benzema has joined Real Madrid's lengthening injury list with coach Zinedine Zidane saying on Friday the striker will miss Saturday's La Liga trip to Valladolid and is doubtful for their Champions League last-16 tie at Atalanta next week.

La Liga Santander - Osasuna v Real Madrid
FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - La Liga Santander - Osasuna v Real Madrid - El Sadar Stadium, Pamplona, Spain - January 9, 2021 Real Madrid's Karim Benzema during the warm up before the match REUTERS/Vincent West

MADRID: Karim Benzema has joined Real Madrid's lengthening injury list with coach Zinedine Zidane saying on Friday the striker will miss Saturday's La Liga trip to Valladolid and is doubtful for their Champions League last-16 tie at Atalanta next week.

Benzema has netted 17 goals this season in all competitions for Real, who sit second in the table, six points behind leaders Atletico Madrid having played a game more.

The Frenchman did not take part in Friday's training session with what local media are reporting as an ankle issue.

Zidane said he does not know how long the forward will be absent as Real's list of injuries mounts.

"Tomorrow he won't play. He's got something, a problem, that flared up yesterday (Thursday) and he won't take part tomorrow," Zidane told a news conference.

"We'll have to wait and see how he is for next week.

"Injuries are what they are. We want to avoid more injuries, everyone tries to do so, but there's a lot of different factors and right now things aren't going for us in that sense.

"We've got a lot of injuries, today it's Karim, and we need to be patient and wait to get our lads back."

Benzema's absence means the Liga champions are without nine first teamers, including captain Sergio Ramos and forward Eden Hazard. Zidane was philosophical about the situation and called on his squad players to step up in their absence.

"Every time we get an injury it's a kick in the teeth. We know how good Karim is of course, but he's injured now. We need to focus on the players we have available for us.

"There's 45 points left to play for and we're focused on the job at hand. We're still in two competitions and we're going to fight to the death in both of them."

(Reporting by Joseph Walker; Editing by Ken Ferris)

Source: Reuters

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