(Reuters) – Real Madrid’s 100-million-euro (£85.91 million) forward Eden Hazard is set to miss his side’s crunch match with La Liga leaders Barcelona later this month after being diagnosed with a fractured ankle.
The Belgium forward injured his right ankle in last week’s 2-2 draw at home to Paris St Germain following a clash with international team mate Thomas Meunier, although the club initially said he had suffered bruising.
A statement from Real on Thursday said that following further tests Hazard had been diagnosed “with an incomplete external microfracture” but did not say how long he would be out, adding “his recovery will continue to be assessed”.
Spanish newspaper Marca said Hazard was seen using crutches at Real’s team dinner on Wednesday and no return date had been set although he was not expected to feature again this year.
Gareth Bale meanwhile was absent from Thursday’s training session and according to Marca he will miss Saturday’s La Liga match with Espanyol as well as Wednesday’s Champions League game at Club Bruges due to a hamstring strain.
Real have not released any information on Bale’s injury but they said on Thursday that defender Marcelo has sustained a calf injury.
Marca reported that the Brazilian is also in danger of missing the ‘Clasico’ at the Camp Nou on Dec. 18, which has been rescheduled over political unrest in Barcelona.
Real are unbeaten in eight games in all competitions and are second in La Liga on 31 points, level with Barca who are top on goal difference.
(Reporting by Richard Martin; Editing by Toby Davis)