Sergio Ramos is a major fitness doubt for Real Madrid's crucial fixtures against Liverpool and Barcelona due to a muscle injury in his left calf. (More Football News)
Doubts over the fitness of Los Blancos' talismanic captain, who has recently been contending with a knee issue, were raised after he was an unused substitute in Spain's 2-1 World Cup qualifying win over Georgia and only played the final few minutes of the follow up 3-1 triumph against Kosovo on Wednesday.
Ramos was at Madrid's Valdebebas training complex on Thursday but was restricted to doing work in the gym and not out on the pitches.
As usual, Madrid did not provide a timescale for his recovery but a short statement read: "Following the tests carried out today on our captain, Sergio Ramos, by the Real Madrid medical department, he has been diagnosed with a muscular injury to the internal calf in his left leg. His recovery will be monitored."
The timing could hardly be worse for Madrid, who host Eibar in LaLiga on Saturday before facing off against Liverpool in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie.
Barca travel to the capital a week on Saturday for a Clasico that could go a long way to deciding which side are better placed to challenge LaLiga leaders Atletico Madrid, while the return tie against the Reds takes place on April 14. (More Football News)
The omens are not particularly promising for Madrid against Liverpool considering Los Blancos have been beaten in seven of the past 10 games in the Champions League when Ramos has been unavailable.
In those games, they have conceded 19 goals – an average of 1.9 per match. Since last winning the competition in 2018, Madrid have won 10 of the 14 games Ramos has featured in – conceding only 13, an average of 0.9 per game.
The decision to bring Ramos on in those closing stages against Kosovo is sure to be a bone of contention for Madrid, with the skipper posting about his setback on Instagram.
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"Yesterday, after the game, I was training on the pitch and noticed a puncture in the left calf. Today I have had the tests and it has been confirmed that I have a muscle injury," he wrote.
"If there is one thing that hurts me it is not being able to help the team in these games of the highest demand in which we play the season and also not be able to give back on the pitch the love and energy that you transmit to me.
"I can do nothing but speak frankly, work hard and encourage the team with the soul."
Ramos' future beyond the end of the season has been the subject of much debate in recent weeks, with the veteran centre-back linked with moves to MLS, the Premier League and Ligue 1.
Addressing the speculation after Spain's win over Kosovo, Ramos told TVE: "With my future I was very clear, there is no news and now I have nothing to say.
"When there is news, I will be the first to say it.
"We decide the season in two weeks, in LaLiga against Eibar and Barcelona, and in the Champions League against Liverpool, and hopefully we can play at a good level."