Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has cooled fears striker Karim Benzema could be set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines as a result of an injury picked up in Thursday’s 2-0 win over Valencia.
Benzema assisted both of Real’s goals early in the second half but wouldn’t make it past the hour mark before limping off the pitch with what appeared to be a hamstring injury.
With the first leg of their Champions League last-16 clash with Liverpool on the horizon, Real fans were immediately concerned about their reigning Ballon d’Or holder, but Ancelotti has moved to allay those fears.
“Benzema is nothing major,” Ancelotti told the media, clearly believing the striker will be back in time to travel to Anfield on February 21.
Unfortunately, Ancelotti did have some bad news for Real fans concerning centre-back Eder Militao, who appeared to pick up a groin problem in a challenge and had to be replaced midway through the first half.
“The injury to Militao is more serious. [He] will not be available at the weekend against Mallorca,” Ancelotti confirmed.
After Sunday’s trip to Mallorca, Real will head to Morocco for the Club World Cup, which got underway on Wednesday and will see Los Blancos join at the semi-final stage alongside South American champions Flamengo.
Militao and Benzema are both obvious doubts for that tournament, with both injuries potentially causing major selection headaches for Ancelotti.
In defence, David Alaba is also injured and so are full-backs Ferland Mendy and Lucas Vazquez, limiting Ancelotti’s rotation options.
As for Benzema, Real’s lack of depth up top is well known. Ancelotti has not shied away from using Rodrygo in a central role and will likely do so if the veteran Frenchman is unavailable, while Mariano Diaz continues to offer emergency cover.