Eden Hazard ‘will be out of action until at least after the November international break’ as Real Madrid star’s injury hell continues with Zinedine Zidane also without captain Sergio Ramos for Champions League opener
- Zinedine Zidane admitted Belgian will be out for much longer than expected
- Eden Hazard will miss El Clasico on Saturday and first three European games
- Sergio Ramos was taken off during shock loss to Cadiz after injuring his left knee
Eden Hazard has suffered a fresh injury setback as his Real Madrid nightmare continues, with the big-money signing from Chelsea set to be out until after the November international break at the earliest, while captain Sergio Ramos will miss the team’s Champions League curtain-raiser at home against Shakhtar Donetsk on Wednesday.
Just as he was seemingly nearing full fitness at the end of September, a muscle problem sustained the day before he was due to return saw the Belgian miss out as Zinedine Zidane’s men squeaked past Real Valladolid 1-0.
However, Hazard was also sidelined for the subsequent win over Levante and the shock defeat to Cadiz at the weekend, with Ramos withdrawn at half-time during the latter game and taking a knock to the knee.
Eden Hazard was a dejected spectator as Real Madrid defeated Real Valladolid last month
It looks highly likely that Hazard’s earliest opportunity to return will be against Villarreal
Zidane has admitted that the injury is ‘more than we thought’ and the attacking midfielder won’t play in the first El Clasico of the season on Saturday at the Nou Camp or any of the team’s first three Champions League group games.
The 29-year-old suffered a succession of injuries which wrecked his opening campaign at the Bernabeu, with an ankle issue, a hairline crack in his foot and a fractured fibula limiting him to just 16 league appearances in 2019/20.
To compound matters, he also came in for criticism this pre-season for being overweight, but it seemed in the build-up to the Valladolid match that the former Premier League star had turned a corner.
Given Hazard’s expected recovery time, the earliest match he is likely to return for is the trip to Villarreal on November 22, but if that comes too soon, the return group match against Inter Milan three days later may be a better bet.
Ramos did not train with the squad on Tuesday and, as with Hazard, Zidane has opted to err on the side of caution with the 34-year-old’s injury.
‘We don’t want to take any risks,’ said Zidane at Tuesday’s pre-match press conference. ‘He hasn’t been able to practice normally.’
Sergio Ramos won’t play when Real open their Champions League campaign on Wednesday
Shakhtar are without eight players due to Covid-19 and arrive in the Spanish capital with 13 fit professional players in the squad.
‘We are living a nightmare,’ said the team’s Portuguese manager Luis Castro.
Real are looking for their 13th Champions League triumph after they were eliminated last season at the competition’s round-of-16 stage by Manchester City.