La Liga Santander is well and truly in the grip of a fresh surge of novel coronavirus cases. Reigning champions Atlético Madrid are the latest to report multiple new infections, with five individuals from the first-team confirmed to have tested positive on Wednesday.

Manager Diego Simeone is among those infected, with players Antoine Griezmann, Koke, João Félix and Héctor Herrera also positive for Covid-19. All five are currently doing well and are asymptomatic. The club has also confirmed that they have been put in isolation in order to hopefully mitigate the spread.

Detectados cinco casos positivos en las pruebas PCR realizadas al primer equipo.

— Atlético de Madrid (@Atleti) December 30, 2021

Unfortunately, apart from missing their head coach. the four players obviously won't be available for Atletico Madrid's first La Liga match of the year on Sunday against Rayo Vallecano. Due to the minimum number days that they need to be isolated, they will also miss the Copa del Rey fixture against Majadahonda which is scheduled on January.

Both Antoine Griezmann and Koke returned to Madrid after spending the Christmas break in the United States. The Frenchman would have been sidelined anyway, thanks to an injury he picked up at the Madrid Derby in mid-December. He won't be able to work with his physios in isolation, meaning his return will likely be pushed back even more.

Apart from the those who are infected with Covid-19, Atletico Madrid will also be missing four other players to injury. Marcos Llorente is still out of commission along with Stefan Savic. José María Giménez and Sime Vrsaljko are back in training, so there may be some hope that they can rejoin the squad for the upcoming matches.

Ahead of the Madrid Derby, it was reported that Jan Oblak had been feeling unwell, but the club did not report his Covid-19 status. Nevertheless, Atletico cancelled their annual Christmas lunch and photo session as a precaution. Just days after the Madrid Derby, Real Madrid reported eight positive cases.

Diego Simeone
Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone AFP / CRISTINA QUICLER