With Gareth Bale and Luka Modric both already injured for some time, Real Madrid’s attacking ranks continue to get thinner and thinner ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League 2nd leg with Atletico Madrid.
The prolific striker has a sprain of the MCL in his right knee the club reported, leaving him on the sidelines for at least Wednesday and likely for much longer. Modric has the same injury and has reportedly been ruled out for up to six weeks, a timeframe which would all but end his season, although there are reports he could return sooner than that.
Benzema seemed to pick up his injury in the latter stages of the first leg against Atletico, Madrid just prior to being brought off in the 76th minute for Isco, and he was not in the squad for the 3-1 win over Malaga this past weekend, with Chicharito in the starting lineup instead.
Real Madrid must win Wednesday’s match with Atletico at the Bernabeu to advance past the quarterfinals, as the first leg at Atletico finished a scoreless draw. They have not defeated their cross-town rivals in seven previous attempts this season.
Los Blancos will also be without left-back Marcelo for the Champions League match through yellow card suspension, leaving the club dangerously thin for attacking options all around the field. A heavy onus will fall on Cristiano Ronaldo – even more than usual – while Chicharito and Isco may yet again deputize, and Asier Illarremdi could be in midfield for Modric. Carlo Ancelotti must pick between Fabio Coentrao and Alvaro Arbeloa to replace Marcelo.