Real Madrid have suffered another setback with the news that club captain Sergio Ramos and Isco have been sidelined with calf and hip injuries respectively.
Both Ramos and Isco started Wednesday’s Copa del Rey defeat at home to Leganes, with the defender completing 90 minutes in his first appearance of 2018 as Madrid crashed to an embarrassing quarter-final exit.
Under-fire coach Zinedine Zidane did not mention the new injuries when he spoke to the media ahead of Saturday’s crunch La Liga game at Valencia, however the club confirmed that the two Spain internationals would miss the trip to the Mestalla.
“Following tests carried out on our player Sergio Ramos, he has been diagnosed with a strain with an oedema [bruise] in the soleus muscle of his left calf,” said a club statement. “His recovery will continue to be assessed.”
“Following tests carried out on our player Isco Alarcon, he has been diagnosed with an impingement in his left hip,” another club statement said.
Ramos is expected to be out for around two weeks, while the extent of Isco’s injury is not immediately known. Both are expected to be fit again in time for the Champions League round of 16 first leg at home to Paris Saint-Germain on February 14. Young centre-back Jesus Vallejo and midfielder Dani Ceballos are also currently on the club’s injury list.
Cristiano Ronaldo will make Saturday’s trip to Valencia, after the 32-year-old took part in a full training session on Friday despite still sporting a bruise over his eye after his clash with Deportivo La Coruna defender Fabian Schar in last weekend’s 7-1 La Liga victory at the Bernabeu.
Madrid’s struggles in recent months have brought speculation in the local media that club president Florentino Perez may feel forced into replacing Zidane ahead of the season-defining double-header against PSG.
However, the Frenchman told Friday’s news conference that he felt supported by the club hierarchy and was expecting an upturn in fortunes in the coming weeks.
Four points from their last four La Liga outings sees Madrid 19 points behind runaway leaders Barcelona and down in fourth place in the table, five points behind Saturday’s opponents third placed Valencia. Last year’s champions are also just one point ahead of Villarreal and three clear of Sevilla in a clear battle for Champions League qualification.
Dermot Corrigan is a Madrid-based football writer who covers La Liga and the Spain national team for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @dermotmcorrigan