Real Madrid CF has been relying heavily on Karim Benzema this season, and his immense workload may have finally taken its toll. The Frenchman came off injured in last Sunday's La Liga clash against Elche, and the club is now hoping that he can recover in time for the first leg of their UEFA Champions League last-16 tie against Paris Saint-Germain.

Benzema was rested in mid-week when Real Madrid won their Copa del Rey match against Elche in extra time. The two sides faced each other again in the weekend, and Benzema was not able to complete the full 90 minutes after feeling a discomfort in his thigh. He walked straight down the tunnel while clutching the back of his left leg, giving fans reason to be extremely worried.

According to Marca, more details about the injury should be released on Tuesday, after the La Liga top scorer undergoes and MRI to determine the extent of the damage. Regardless of the result, Real Madrid will want to give Benzema some time off to fully recover and regain full fitness and be ready for the crucial second half of the season.

Real Madrid's next match will be on Friday, when they take on Athletic Club in the quarterfinals of the Copa del Rey. It will be a tough match and manager Carlo Ancelotti would have wanted all of his best players travelling to San Mames, but it will be wise to leave Benzema in the recovery room even if the scans show that the injury is minor.

After that, La Liga action resumes with Los Blancos facing Granada on Sunday. He could be rested again before being reintroduced on February 12 against Villarreal, just in time to be ready for the trip to Paris on February 15.

Benzema has already played a total of 35 games in all competitions for the club and France this season, and it comes as no surprise that the amount of work is taking a toll on his body. There is still a long way to go this season, and Ancelotti needs to be very careful not to have the season botched by fitness issues.

Real Madrid experienced a similar situation last season, when Zinedine Zidane had to deal with a massively deflated squad in the later half of what eventually became a winless season. For now, Real Madrid are on top of La Liga and are still in contention for the Copa del Rey and Champions League trophies. Benzema is a central figure in the campaign, and they will be hoping to create the best strategy on how to keep the forward fit until the end.

Karim Benzema
Karim Benzema scored his club's 1000th European Cup goal AFP / PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU