Luka Modric will have some serious time to concentrate on regrowing his hair.
The Croatian midfield spark has torn his left proximal rectus femoris tendon, the soft tissue attaching the quadriceps muscle to the hip, according to the Real Madrid official website.
Modric described the injury as very painful, saying he feels “a very strong pain in the upper part of my thigh” and noting that “it is a shame but football is like that.”
The 29-year-old was withdrawn in the 27th minute of Croatia’s 1-1 draw with Italy at the San Siro that was marred by fan violence and thrown pyrotechnics. Reports have him out between as many as five weeks and three months, which would mean he would most likely return sometime in February.
Modric was playing brilliantly this season for Real Madrid, and his numbers reflect that. He has made 10 La Liga appearances, completing 90% of his passes throughout that span, and completing a fantastic 18 of his 22 attempted take-ons, according to Squawka statistics. That 82% rate is by far the best in La Liga for anyone with over five attempts.
The injury could have serious consequences at not just Real Madrid but beyond. Sami Khedira has seen plenty of the bench this season, with Carlo Ancelotti preferring to pair Modric with Toni Kroos in the midfield and leaving Khedira to dominate the transfer rumors. But now that Khedira is the likely replacement for Modric, it’s suddenly very unlikely that Khedira will be sold.
The other man who will benefit from Modric’s absence is Asier Illarramendi, but the 24-year-old has also struggled with fitness, starting just once this La Liga campaign and racking up 194 minutes across seven appearances.