Real Madrid captain Karim Benzema could reportedly face up to three weeks on the sidelines with a thigh injury.
The 34-year-old was handed a start in attack alongside Vinicius Junior and Federico Valverde for their opening Group F encounter in the Champions League against Celtic on Tuesday night.
However, Benzema was forced off on the half-hour mark after pulling up with a thigh muscle injury, with Eden Hazard brought on as his replacement.
Real managed to cope without their leading marksman, with Hazard, Vinicius Junior and Luka Modric all on the scoresheet to help the holders secure a 3-0 victory in Glasgow.
Centre-back Eder Militao was also replaced due to injury, with Antonio Rudiger coming on in his place at half time, but manager Carlo Ancelotti played down suggestions that he and Benzema had sustained serious problems.
“It seems not so serious, but we have to wait tomorrow,” Ancelotti told BT Sport. “Both of them will have a check, Benzema and Militao, it seems not so important.”
Real Madrid have since provided a medical report regarding Benzema’s condition on their official website, but they have not disclosed how long the striker could be ruled out for.
A statement read: “Following tests carried out on our player Karim Benzema by the Real Madrid Medical Services, he has been diagnosed with an injury to the semitendinosus tendon and a strain to the quadricep muscle in his right thigh. His recovery will continue to be assessed.”
According to French news outlet L’Equipe, Benzema could be forced to sit out for the next three weeks.
Benzema could therefore miss Real Madrid’s next three games, including Sunday’s La Liga clash at home to Mallorca and next Wednesday’s Champions League encounter with managerless RB Leipzig.
The veteran striker, who is the favourite to win this year’s Ballon d’Or, could also miss the derby against rivals Atletico Madrid on September 18 and is a doubt for the upcoming international break at the end of this month.
France are scheduled to face Austria and Denmark in their final two UEFA Nations League fixtures, with Didier Deschamps‘s side currently at risk of relegation from Group A after claiming only two points from their first four matches.
Benzema scored a remarkable 44 goals in 46 games across all competitions for Real Madrid last season, and he has since made a bright start to the new campaign, finding the net four times in six matches.