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Karim Benzema is out of Real Madrid’s LaLiga clash at Real Valladolid and faces a race to be fit for Wednesday’s Champions League tie against Atalanta.
The Los Blancos superstar forward did not train on Friday due to an unspecified blow and will not travel to José Zorrilla, where Madrid are seeking their fourth consecutive top flight win.
Head coach Zinedine Zidane was unsure whether Benzema will return for the first leg knockout tie in Atalanta and said he will be re-evaluated later in the week.
“Karim will not be with us tomorrow, he has a small problem, he has something and he will not be with us tomorrow,” Zidane said at a pre-match press conference.
“We hope he is ready for Wednesday, from Sunday to Monday we will see how his problems evolve and how he is ready for Wednesday.”
It’s an untimely blow for Zidane, whose squad has already been devastated by injury with Benzema joining Eden Hazard, Rodrygo, Federico Valverde, Álvaro Odriozola, Eder Militao, Marcelo, Dani Carvajal and captain Sergio Ramos on the bench.
“I think that any injury we do is a serious blow for us. But of course we know that the player Karim is for us, how important he is ”, added Zidane.
“But like I said before, he’s injured, he won’t be available tomorrow and we have to do the best we can.
“We have to think about the players that are there and get Karim back as soon as possible. The same goes for all the other players. “
– Real Madrid CF (@realmadrid) February 19, 2021
Despite injury problems, Madrid have performed well over the last week in LaLiga and Zidane was asked if he was confident that the team can show an equally positive attitude in Europe.
“It just came to our notice then. Mentally we can’t do anything about these injuries. We just want to avoid further injuries,” he said.
“I think everyone here is committed to doing that, but there are many factors that go into this. It is true that lately many players are injured and that does not help.
“We have so many injuries, today we had another one with Benzema but we just have to be patient and the players who are available we just have to give everything, and just hope that we are going to get our players back.
“I know that the players want to go back to training and to the field. I hope to get all our players back, but it is true that lately it has been a bit complicated, yes ”.