Eden Hazard has suffered another new injury setback and he’s likely to miss the first leg of Real Madrid’s Champions League last-16 tie with Atalanta.
The Belgium international has suffered a difficult time with injuries since moving to Santiago Bernabeu from Chelsea in a €100 million (£88m/$120m) deal in the summer of 2019.
The recently-turned 30-year-old has now sustained a new muscle injury and could be facing up to a month on the sidelines.
The length of his absence will depend on the severity of Hazard’s muscle injury and how quickly the injury heals, with it believed he will miss between two to four weeks of football.
In the best-case scenario of Hazard being absent for only a fortnight, then he would miss the weekend’s trip to Huesca and home matches against Getafe and Valencia, before potentially returning for the February 20 fixture against Valladolid.
However, in the worst-case event of being ruled out for around a month, Hazard would also be missing for the first leg of the Atalanta tie in Italy on February 24.
Also, Zinedine Zidane’s side is expected to meet local rivals, and current leaders of La Liga, Atletico Madrid at the Wanda Metropolitano on March 7.
If Hazard’s injury is as awful as feared, then he will be battling to return in time for the date with Diego Simeone’s side.
This is the ninth time that Hazard has been ruled out of a chunk of Madrid’s games due to injury or fitness problems since his move to the Spanish capital.
He suffered from ankle injuries especially during his first year with Madrid, which affected his ability to become a central symbol in Zidane’s starting line-up.
This season, meanwhile, Hazard’s fitness problems have involved a spell out in November due to coronavirus and a thigh injury, which he has only just fully recovered from.