Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale set to miss three weeks, Champions League clash vs. Atletico, with injury

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Real Madrid will be without attacker Gareth Bale for most of the next month, as their Welsh superstar will miss their crunch UEFA Champions League second leg quarterfinal against Atletico Madrid on Wednesday.

[ RELATED: Modric, Bale go down injured ]

Bale, 25, injured his left calf just two minutes into Real’s 3-1 win over Malaga on Saturday and it is believed, according to reports from AS, he will now miss up to three weeks at a pivotal point of the season for the reigning European champions.

Real released the following statement on Bale’s injury:

Following tests carried out on Gareth Bale at the Sanitas La Moraleja Hospital by the Real Madrid Medical Services, he has been diagnosed with a muscle injury in his left soleus. His progress will be monitored.

What options does Real have to replace Bale for their huge clash against city rivals Atletico with the score locked at 0-0 after last weeks first leg?

Javier Hernandez replaced Bale against Malaga after five minutes and the Mexican international on loan from Manchester United set up Cristiano Ronaldo for a late goal to seal the win. Chicharito seems like the most likely to come into the lineup for Real as Carlo Ancelotti’s side prepare themselves for an intense battle against the team they beat to life the UCL crown last season.

Another option would be bringing in Illarremendi in midfield and pushing James Rodriguez further forward as Ancelotti will be without Luka Modric, who was also injured in the win over Malaga and may miss the rest of the season, and Karim Benzema is also facing a race against time to be fit for Wednesday’s showdown at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Heading into their biggest game of the season, Real Madrid’s squad is far from healthy as the second-placed La Liga outfit aim to defend their UCL crown.