Real Madrid have confirmed a major selection blow after scans revealed Raphael Varane suffered "a grade 2 injury in the left femoral biceps" during Los Blancos' 3-0 win over Alaves on Sunday (2 April). Los Blancos have failed to set a timeframe for his recovery but reports in Spain suggest he will be out of around four weeks, missing key La Liga games against Atletico Madrid and Barcelona as well as the Champions League quarter-finals with Bayern Munich.
Varane, 23, enjoyed an impressive start to the 2016-17 campaign after developing into Zidane's favourite to partner Sergio Ramos in the heart of the backline, with Pepe and Nacho serving as back-ups.
However, the centre-back saw his season hampered on 22 February after suffering a grade-two muscle strain in his left hamstring during the 2-1 defeat to Valencia.
Varane missed the following six games but took advantage of the recent international break to recover his fitness to be ready for the busy month of April – which includes an El Clasico encounter against Barcelona on 23 April and the two games with Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-finals.
However, the Real Madrid defender only lasted 10 minutes against Alaves, suffering a recurrence of the injury on his return to action.
Zidane confirmed the blow after the game but suggested that this time the injury could be minor.
"Varane picked up an injury in the same spot as before," Zinedine Zidane confirmed. "He told me he doesn't feel as strong as he did three weeks ago, we'll send him for a scan. I hope it's nothing serious, nor anything psychological. He's had time to recover and he was ready. Before the game he was 100% fit."
But subsequent scans have confirmed that Varane suffered another grade 2 injury muscular injury, which is expected to keep him on the sidelines for several weeks.
"After the tests performed today on our player Raphael Varane at the University Hospital Sanitas la Moraleja, he has been diagnosed with a grade 2 injury in the left femoral biceps. His recovery will continue to be assessed," the club have confimed.
Real Madrid have not set an exact time timeframe but reports in Spain suggest the player will be out of action for four weeks.
Varane would thus be ruled of the coming Madrid derbies against Leganes (5 April) and Atletico Madrid (8 April), but he will also miss the two legs of the Champions League quarter-finals to be played on 12 and 18 April. Furthermore, he is also expected to be absent for the crucial visit of Barcelona on 23 April.
The news is a massive blow for Zidane as Real Madrid are in contention for both the La Liga title and the Champions League, currently only two points ahead of Barcelona, although they have one game in hand.