While Real Madrid cruised to a fairly comfortable 3-1 victory over Malaga on Saturday, the result came at the expense of Gareth Bale and Luka Modric, both of whom left the game after picking up injuries that now leave their status up in the air for Wednesday’s UEFA Champions League quarterfinal second leg against Atletico Madrid.
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Bale was subbed off in the 5th minute after he went to ground and clutched his left calf, while Modric lasted nearly an hour before appearing to injure his right knee. Karim Benzema was also unavailable for Saturday’s game after picking up a knock during Friday’s training session, but Carlo Ancelotti is hopeful he can return when Atleti visit the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium on Wednesday.
Following the game, a club spokesman said they were “concerned” about both players, and that they wouldn’t know more until Bale and Modric undergo a series of tests on Sunday to determine the severity of their injuries and any potential length of time to be missed.
“It’s a bad moment for Bale to get hurt. We will have to see what the tests say tomorrow,” the club spokesman said. “And Modric also worries us. When we only have four days before the quarterfinal return leg, it’s not good news.”
The Champions League tie with Atleti currently sits at 0-0 following a scoreless draw at the Vicente Calderon Stadium last Tuesday, but combine Saturday’s injuries with the fact that Real have now failed to defeat their Madrid rivals in each of their last seven meetings, and what was perhaps a favorable position for Real is now a tenuous one at best.
With six games still to play, Real also find themselves two points behind Barcelona in the race for the La Liga title, meaning that while the domestic and European double is still in play for Carlo Ancelotti’s side, it’s also simultaneously very much up in the air.