Striker Luka Jovic is set for a period in isolation after becoming the latest Real Madrid player to test positive for COVID-19.
Zinedine Zidane’s squad have been hit hard by the virus in recent weeks, with Eder Militao, Casemiro and Eden Hazard all testing positive before the international break.
That trio have all returned to training and are in contention to face Villarreal on Saturday, but their place in isolation has been taken by Jovic as Real confirmed on their official website that the Serb had tested positive upon his return from international duty.
The result could not have come at a worse time for Jovic, who may have finally had the chance to prove himself at the Santiago Bernabeu as usual first-choice striker Karim Benzema is still suffering from a knock he picked up against Valencia last time out.
Jovic would likely have started Saturday’s game, and he’d have come into the match in good form after racking up three goals and two assists while away on international duty with Serbia. It’s the best form he has shown since he moved to the Bernabeu in 2019.
Unfortunately, all that momentum has come to a halt, and Jovic is now set to watch from home for the next few weeks.
Alongside Saturday’s meeting with Villarreal, Jovic will miss Champions League clashes with Inter and Shakhtar Donestk, as well as a league game against Alaves. A possible return date could be the trip to Sevilla on December 5.
Should Benzema not make it back in time for Saturday, it looks like Zidane will be forced to turn to Mariano Diaz, whose only 14 minutes of action this season came in the 4-1 loss to Valencia last time out.
It’s hardly the news Zidane will have been hoping for as he looks to help his side get back on track following that humiliating defeat.