Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has confirmed it’s unlikely that electric winger James Rodriguez will be available for the Club World Cup that opens midweek.
The Spanish club will take on continential champions from around the world during the 10-day tournament in Morocco.
Rodriguez has appeared in every single Real Madrid match this season so far across all competitions, providing Ancelotti with a steady option alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale.
Unfortunately, this new calf injury forced him off in the 53rd minute of Madrid’s 3-0 win over Celta Vigo that featured a Ronaldo hat-trick.
“I don’t think James will be able to play,” Ancelotti said of the Club World Cup. “Calf injuries take a while to heal; it’s difficult to see him recovering in time.”
The club will have to assess the extent of his injury over the next few days to get a better idea of how long he will be out for, Ancelotti said. Hopefully it’s not a recurrence of the torn hamstring that plagued him across early 2013 while playing in Portugal, for which he missed a month.
Rodriguez has provided five goals and five assists for the La Liga leaders (nine and eight in all competitions), and has been a fantastic acquisition for Ancelotti’s new-look squad. Of his five La Liga assists, he has provided at least one to all four of Madrid’s four main goalscorers in Ronaldo, Bale, Karim Benzema, and Chicharito.
Real Madrid’s first Club World Cup match is December 16 in the semifinals against the winners of CONCACAF Champions League victors Cruz Azul and Asian champion Western Sydney Wanderers.