Madrid (Spain), Feb 3 (IANS): Real Madrid are facing an increasing injury crisis as their season continues without let-up.
Central defender Eder Militao and striker Karim Benzema both had to limp out of their 2-0 win at home to Valencia on Thursday night.
Militao, who has been in excellent form in recent weeks, went off in the first half, with what looked like a problem with his right abductor muscle, while Benzema asked to be changed after an hour of the game with another muscle issue.
"This is what happens when you play every three days. There is no time to recover," lamented Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti after the game.
Real Madrid are already without their only left back Ferland Mendy for around six weeks with a muscle injury, while Lucas Vazquez is sidelined with a twisted ankle he suffered in the Spanish Supercup and will be out for another month.
Meanwhile, Ancelotti has no chance to rest players, with a league visit to Mallorca on Sunday, before his side travels to Morocco to play the Club World Cup. If Real Madrid win their semifinal on Wednesday, they will then play in the final on February 11.
Then they have to play the La Liga match at home against Elche, which was postponed from February 11 to February 15, before visiting Osasuna on the 18th and then travelling to Liverpool in the Champions League three days later.
The following weekend sees a derby at home to Atletico Madrid and they then play Barcelona in the first leg of their Copa del Rey semifinal on March 2, before traveling to face Betis on March 5.
All in all, the nine matches in four weeks are enough to test any squad in the world.