While Real Madrid started their UEFA Champions League title defense with a win, that 3-0 win over Celtic on 6 September was marred by the sight of captain Karim Benzema sent off with injury.
The French striker was replaced after just 30 minutes in Glasgow to sound the alarm.
Benzema, a heavy favorite to win the Ballon d’Or this year, was key to Real Madrid’s success in the 2021/22 season and ended the campaign with 44 goals to his name in all competitions.
His injury concern comes at a bad time for Carlo Ancelotti, with his side ready to juggle a hectic schedule ahead of the World Cup break.
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Karim Benzema injury
Benzema left the Celtic game with visible pain in his right leg.
Subsequent analyzes carried out by Real Madrid confirmed the extent of his injury.
“Following tests carried out on our player Karim Benzema by the Real Madrid medical services, he was diagnosed with a semitendinosus tendon injury and a sprained quadriceps muscle in his right thigh.” a club statement read.
“His recovery will continue to be assessed.”
Speaking after the Celtic win, Ancelotti sought to play down the injury but that was before any tests were carried out on the Frenchman.
“We don’t think Benzema has a big problem. It’s tough,” Ancelotti said.
— Real Madrid CF 🇬🇧🇺🇸 (@realmadriden) September 6, 2022
Benzema injury history
Benzema is no stranger to injuries and continues to wear a bandage on his right hand due to a broken little finger which still requires surgery.
The 34-year-old missed six games for Real Madrid last season due to injuries.
Hamstrings have been a common area of injury for Benzema over the years, with the Frenchman having been sidelined four times specifically as a result.
Benzema’s longest injury absence came in October 2015 when he was ruled out for 39 days with a thigh muscle strain.
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How many matches will Benzema miss?
When confirming the extent of Benzema’s latest injury, Real Madrid refused to give a time frame for his potential return.
He is, however, almost certain to miss his next La Liga fixture on September 11 against Mallorca.
After that, he is then a doubt for Real Madrid’s next Champions League game against RB Leipzig on September 14.
A return for a league game against local rivals Atletico Madrid could be on the cards, but Ancelotti will no doubt be cautious when it comes to risking his captain.
According to the Spanish outlet ASBenzema will be out for seven to 10 days and has a good chance of being fit in time to face Diego Simeone’s side on September 18.
Prior to facing Celtic, the Frenchman was the only player alongside Thibaut Courtois to play every minute for Real Madrid this season.
Los Blancos have always struggled in La Liga without Benzema.
Since 2018, the club’s winning percentage with Benzema in the league is 67.8% and drops to 38.5% without him. Their goals scored in each game also drop from 1.9 to 1.0 without the French striker.