Madrid striker Benzema out for 3 weeks

Madrid, Feb 29 (IANS) The bad news continued to pile up for Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane with the confirmation on Monday that striker Karim Benzema will be out of action for the next three weeks with a hamstring injury in his right leg.

Benzema, who has scored 23 goals this season, was forced to leave the pitch after just 45 minutes of Saturday’s Madrid derby, which Real lost 0-1 at home to local rivals Atletico Madrid in the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, reports Xinhua.

Tests carried out on Monday morning confirmed the extent of his injury, which means Benzema will miss La Liga games against Levante, Celta Vigo and Las Palmas and is in a serious doubt for the following game, which is against Sevilla.

Benzema will also miss the return leg of the Champions League last-16 game at home to Roma, although Real Madrid take a comfortable lead into that match.

The loss of the French striker is added to that of Gareth Bale and Marcelo, who are both out with calf injuries, while Sergio Ramos and Dani Carvajal are both suspended for Wednesday’s league game away to bottom of the table, Levante.

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