Madrid midfield anchor Llorente hit with second injury in quick succession

Madrid’s Marcos Llorente sustained a groin injury in Wednesday’s 1-1 draw with Barcelona in the Copa del Rey. (AFP pic)

MADRID: Real Madrid have been dealt an injury setback at a crucial time in the season, with midfielder Marcos Llorente expected to be missing for around three weeks with a groin injury sustained in Wednesday’s 1-1 draw with Barcelona in the Copa del Rey.

Madrid’s medical report on Thursday did not state how long Llorente would be missing for, although reports in the Spanish media said he would be out for almost a month.

That means the Spaniard would miss Saturday’s La Liga derby against Atletico Madrid and the Champions League last 16 first leg at Ajax Amsterdam.

Llorente had only recently returned from a hamstring injury which had kept him sidelined for three weeks and he was chosen ahead of Brazil midfielder Casemiro in the Copa del Rey semi-final first leg at the Nou Camp.

The 24-year-old faces a battle to be fit for the return leg of the cup ‘Clasico’ on Feb 27 and the La Liga fixture at home to Barca on March 2, and is almost certain to miss league games against Levante and Girona before then.