Real Madrid centre back Raphael Varane is expected to miss the second leg of his side’s Champions League semi final after picking up a quad injury in Saturday’s 2-0 win over Osasuna.
The Frenchman made it until half-time in the game but was withdrawn at the interval after complaining of pain in his right leg.
According to AS, Varane did not take part in team training on Sunday and will be sent for further scans on Monday to determine the severity of his injury, but with just two days to go until the Chelsea game, there’s almost no chance he will be ready.
Even if scans show Varane has not suffered any damage, manager Zinedine Zidane is not expected to risk the 28-year-old as he tries to manage the defensive injury crisis which has plagued the end of his season.
Zidane still has Nacho Fernandez and Eder Militao, the latter of whom was excellent against Chelsea first time around, while there are also positive feelings about Sergio Ramos, who is yet to return to team training but was out on an individual regime on Sunday.
The Spaniard was also working with left-back Ferland Mendy, who is nearing his own return from injury. It was thought that Mendy would have to start the game after fellow left-back Marcelo was called up for election duty the day before the game, but Real are set to order Marcelo a £17,000 private jet to make sure he gets to Stamford Bridge in time.
Zidane’s defensive chaos doesn’t stop there. He has problems at left-back and centre-back, but his concerns at right-back could be the worst of the lot.
Dani Carvajal is expected to miss the remainder of the season with a hamstring injury, and the versatile Lucas Vazquez can’t fill in for him either because of his own campaign-ending issue.
Zidane’s third choice for the position, midfielder Federico Valverde, is hoping to return from a COVID-enforced isolation in time to feature, but if the Uruguayan can’t make it back, the boss may have to go with actual right-back Alvaro Odriozola, who could hardly be further down the pecking order if he tried.
Fortunately, once the defensive carnage is over, Real have very few concerns. Zidane will have his regular midfield of Luka Modric and Toni Kroos available after resting both, meaning the veterans can line up alongside Casemiro as Real fight for a spot in the final.