Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane has admitted that he is 'concerned' about the potentially serious knee injury suffered by Marco Asensio during the club's pre-season clash with Arsenal.
In tears, Asensio was stretchered off not long after scoring on the hour mark in the 2-2 draw - ultimately won on penalties by Real - and there are fears that a worst case scenario ACL tear could see him miss the whole of the 2019/20 season.
"We're a bit concerned. It's his knee, he's gone straight to hospital for some tests so we'll see… But it doesn't look good," Zidane said after the game, via RealMadrid.com.
"It's the downside for us, we've lost a player and we're pretty gutted. We're gutted for Marco and hope it will be the least serious possible outcome."
Only when tests have been carried out will Real know the full extent of the damage and the likely time frame for the 23-year-old's recovery.
Zidane has insisted that even if Asensio, who was tipped to use this pre-season as a launch pad to recapture his best form after a disappointing 2018/19 campaign, is out for some time it does not change the plans for Gareth Bale to leave the club.
Even though losing Bale and Asensio at the same time would severely lessen Real's attacking options, the Frenchman is keen to move on. That means Bale leaving the club as soon as a deal is agreed, even if he continues to be involved for the time being.
"He's here and I don't know what will happen," Zidane explained. "He played today, he wanted to and he did a good job. He put in a good performance and I'm pleased for him. He wanted to be with us today, he trained normally and played the match.
"I make the decisions and he played one half. We'll have to see what happens. Nothing has changed, you know the situation. He's still here with us at this stage."
But whether Asensio being ruled out could affect Dani Cebellos and a proposed loan to Arsenal is another matter. Zidane appeared to suggest it will not and that the deal is likely to go ahead as planned, but Gunners boss Unai Emery has already expressed doubt and concern.
"There's still nothing official yet. The club is working on it and we'll see in the next few days," Zidane said of the Ceballos situation.
"I don't know," Emery said. "Our target also was not to take injuries in that match, and they maybe have with Asensio. It [could be] bad news, for them and also for us. I don't know if it can change something."