Real Madrid's hunt for their 13th Champions League title is off to a flyer, as the holders dominated APOEL to a comfortable 3-0 win. The match, however, wasn't without a sour note; when Mateo Kovačić had to be substituted early in the first half. The Croat looked visibly distraught as he slowly made his way to the bench.
As per Marca, the midfielder went in for detailed assessment of his injury and has been diagnosed with a partial tear of the adductor muscle tendon in his right leg. The injury will keep him on the sidelines for 6-8 weeks.
Mateo was signed as Luka Modric's natural successor. But the versatile midfielder excels in deeper positions as well and was acting as Casemiro's more attack-minded substitute. Coach, Zinedine Zidane, will have to look at the likes of Dani Ceballos and Maros Llorente to fill in for the 23-year-old.
After dropping four points in their last two league games, Real Madrid now travel to Anoeta in the hope of bouncing back. Cristiano Ronaldo and Marcelo are already out of the tie due to suspensions, and now, losing a player like Kovačić to an unfortunate injury could be problematic for Zidane.
The Los Blancos, however, won't rush the player in as they still have plenty of options in the middle with their first choice midfielders Toni Kross, Luka Modric and Casemiro expected to start on Sunday.