Real Madrid confirm muscle bruising for injured Modric

By Sports Desk October 15, 2019

Luka Modric escaped significant injury in Croatia's 1-1 Euro 2020 qualifying draw with Wales, with Real Madrid confirming he suffered bruising to his right quadriceps.

The midfielder had to be helped from the pitch by Croatia's medical staff with a minute of normal time remaining, having received a knock when he fouled Harry Wilson and earned a booking in Cardiff on Sunday.

He underwent tests after returning to his club, with the results announced on Tuesday.

"Following the tests carried out today on our player Luka Modric by the Real Madrid medical department, he has been diagnosed with a contusion to his right quadriceps," a statement from Madrid read.

"His recovery will continue to be assessed."

Zinedine Zidane's side resume their LaLiga campaign with a trip to Mallorca on Saturday.

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    Zinedine Zidane insists Real Madrid are not prematurely celebrating despite taking significant steps towards LaLiga glory in recent weeks.

    Barcelona have drawn three of their past four matches, with Madrid winning all of their games across the same period to open up a four-point advantage at the summit.

    The Clasico rivals each have 15 points to play for, meaning Barca require a huge swing in the remaining matches, with their derby at home to Espanyol and Madrid's trip to Athletic Bilbao next on the agenda.

    Los Blancos last won the title in 2016-17, during Zidane's previous spell in charge, and the head coach is taking nothing for granted.

    "The players know that it is a complicated, difficult, long competition, and that those who did it before show that they want to go for everything," he said.

    "There is no euphoria here because we have not won anything.

    "There is work and commitment to do it well and try to win matches."

    Sergio Ramos was Madrid's match-winner against Getafe last time out and he is set to be joined at centre-back by Eder Militao at San Mames.

    Raphael Varane was struck in the face by the ball during Thursday's match and was substituted, with the France international suffering from neck pain and unable to recover in time for a place in this weekend's squad.

    "He has just arrived, he is working to reach the level of Rafa and Sergio," Zidane said of the 22-year-old former Porto defender Militao.

    "Tomorrow he will have to play and I am happy for Mili because he is a player for the present and the future."

    Seven of Militao's 12 LaLiga appearances so far this season have been starts, while his fellow Brazilian Rodrygo has only made Zidane's first XI once since the restart and last scored in October.

    Nevertheless, the teenage forward produced a lively cameo last time out, asking questions of Getafe before Ramos' 79th-minute penalty.

    "He is a player who is changing little by little, working hard," Zidane added.

    "He is a charming boy, he is well, and in the end we will take advantage of his qualities."

  • Hazard to miss Athletic Bilbao clash as Zidane protects Real Madrid star Hazard to miss Athletic Bilbao clash as Zidane protects Real Madrid star

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    The Belgium international sustained a heavy knock in the 1-0 win over Espanyol and missed the victory against Getafe on Thursday. 

    Madrid could stretch their lead over Barcelona at the top of LaLiga to seven points if they win at Athletic on Sunday before the Catalans face Villarreal, but Zidane is not prepared to take any unnecessary risks with Hazard that could jeopardise his chances of finishing the season. 

    "Eden's having a hard time these days and we don't want to risk anything, and he's the first [to agree]," Zidane said. "Hopefully, it's a small thing and we can see him again before the end of the league [season]. 

    "He's been away for three or four days and I hope he'll get over it quickly. It's day to day; we don't know anything more than it's a strong blow. There are those who know, the doctors and the medics... they are very competent people. It was a blow against Espanyol and it's a matter of days." 

    Hazard's first season at Madrid since a €100million move from Chelsea has been blighted by injuries, with the 29-year-old having only started 13 league games in 2019-20. 

    "The Hazard thing is the sort of thing we don't want to happen, that's the worst thing for me," Zidane said. "It's not just me, there's a lot of people here to help the player. 

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    "What I hope is that we'll soon get out of it." 

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    Barcelona head coach Quique Setien insists he "does not spend a minute" thinking about his future amid speculation he is close to being sacked.

    The 61-year-old's position has been called into question following a run of three draws in four matches that leaves Barca four points adrift of LaLiga leaders Real Madrid.

    Setien was handed a two-and-a-half-year deal when succeeding Ernesto Valverde at Camp Nou in January, but club icon Xavi is reportedly being lined up to take charge.

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    "I don't spend a minute thinking about that," he said at his pre-match news conference on Saturday. "I focus on what I have to focus on, which in this case is Sunday's game.

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    Setien is said to have been summoned to a meeting with club president Josep Maria Bartomeu and other members of the board following Tuesday's 2-2 draw with Atletico Madrid.

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    "I have said I am not going to reveal the conversations we had that day, but I didn't sense that, not at all," he said.

    Barca could find themselves seven points off top spot by the time they face Villarreal should Madrid beat Athletic Bilbao earlier on Sunday.

    Unlike the reigning Spanish champions, fifth-placed Villarreal have hit the ground running since the restart by taking 16 points from a possible 18.

    "I don't know if they are the best or [one of] the best teams returning from isolation," Setien said of Sunday's opponents.

    "They are doing things very well, with a lot of talent and players in good form, who defend well and who are going to compromise us a lot because they are playing at home.

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