Karim Benzema forced off injured for Real Madrid in win over Valencia
- Benzema injured again
- Missed bulk of action pre-World Cup
- Headed straight down tunnel after substitution
WHAT HAPPENED? Just as he was finding a groove of consistency after a disrupted start to the 2022-23 season, the problems returned for Benzema who was substituted off an hour into Real Madrid's 2-0 win at home against Valencia.
THE BIGGER PICTURE: The 2022 Ballon d'Or winner appeared to tweak something when unleashing a shot at Giorgi Mamardashvili's goal, bringing his night to a premature end after assisting both Marco Asensio and Vinicius Junior's goals. Benzema reached for the back of his leg and was then substituted off for Rodrygo. Since the full-time whistle, it has emerged via Sergio Quirante of DAZN that Benzema felt an issue in his right thigh, with a proper assessment of the injury expected tomorrow. However, head coach Carlo Ancelotti wasn't too concerned.
AND WHAT'S MORE: Speaking to reporters after the game, the coach explained: “It seems that Militao is not going to make it for Sunday. The Benzema thing seems milder, as a precaution. It is what happens when you play every three days without time to recover."
Any potential injury to the 35-year-old would be huge blow for Carlo Ancelotti, while losing Eder Militao to an injury earlier on in the same game presents him with even more of a problem. Benzema has nine goals in La Liga this season, but his availability proved a serious problem for Los Blancos before the World Cup, which he also missed out on.
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WHAT NEXT FOR REAL MADRID? Both the Frenchman and his manager will hope that whatever he felt tweak in his leg isn't anything too serious. A win on the night is huge for Real in staying just five points behind league leaders Barcelona, but they also have a Champions League last 16 tie with Liverpool coming up this month and need their stars to be fit.