Zinedine Zidane's problems at Real Madrid keep on coming, with the club revealing that Karim Benzema is back on the treatment table with an injury to his right biceps femoris. The news is yet another blow for the French manager, after his side all but waved goodbye to their hopes of winning La Liga with a humiliating 1-0 home defeat to Atletico Madrid leaving them 12 points behind Barcelona.
Benzema returned to action in the Madrid derby after missing the disappointing draw with Malaga due to a hip issue. However, he was replaced at half-time by academy starlet Borja Mayoral after the new problem made itself known.
Zidane did not address the problem in his post-match press conference, but the club has now made an official statement confirming fans' worst fears.
"Following the tests carried out on Karim Benzema at the Sanitas la Moraleja University Hospital, the player has been diagnosed with a muscle injury to his right biceps femoris. His recovery will continue to be assessed," the club confirmed.
Although Real Madrid have not set a recovery deadline for the player, reports in both AS and Marca suggest he will spend around three weeks on the sidelines. He would thus miss the forthcoming La Liga encounters with Levante, Celta and Las Palmas, as well as the second-leg of the Champions League knockout stage tie with Roma. However, he would be back in time for the next El Clasico.
In a boost for the club though, some of Benzema's teammates returned to training on Monday ahead of the trip to Levante. Arbeloa and Pepe, who missed the derby, could both play a part on Wednesday, as as Sergio Ramos and Dani Carvajal are suspended and Marcelo remains out. The game will also come too soon for the long-term absent Gareth Bale.