Madrid: Spanish club Real Madrid have suffered a major setback three days before their Champions League quarter-final return leg home match to local rivals Atletico Madrid with midfielder Luka Modric ruled out of the match with a knee injury that could potentially end his season.
Real's 3-1 win at home to Malaga on Saturday saw Carlo Ancelotti's side lose Gareth Bale with a calf injury. The Welsh forward pulled up after just two minutes of the kick-off and was replaced by striker Javier Hernandez, reports Xinhua.
Although tests won't be carried out until Monday, it looks as if the injury will sideline him for Wednesday's game and he has to be considered a doubt for next weekend's trip to face Celta Vigo in La Liga.
Modric's injury looks as if it could be more serious. He had to leave the pitch after a collision in the 57th minute after damaging his right knee.
After carrying out tests on Sunday the club confirmed the Croatian playmaker has suffered a twisted ligament. Although they have not given an estimation of the time he will be out of action, that kind of injury tends to sideline a player for between five or six weeks.
That would be a major setback to Real Madrid given that their recent upturn in form has coincided almost exactly with the return of Modric from the injury he suffered in November last year.
Modric's importance to Real Madrid was clear to see after he left the pitch on Saturday as his side struggled against Malaga until striker James Rodriguez scored their second goal of the game.