Atletico Madrid will be without star Uruguayan defender José Maria Giménez for this weekend's huge La Liga match with Barcelona.
Giménez was forced off in Atlético's Champions League win over Bayer Leverkusen with a thigh injury in late October.
He is yet to recover from the knock and will not be available for Diego Simeone for the visit of league leaders Barcelona on Sunday evening.
There was hope that the 24-year-old would be able to return from this setback but Marca reported he wasn't able to train on Friday and won't be part of the matchday squad. Atlético will also be without his fellow centre-back Stefan Savic and striker Diego Costa, who are also sidelined due to injuries.
This means that Simeone will be forced to continue with the centre-back partnership of summer recruits Mario Hermoso and Felipe. These two have started every game since Giménez's injury as Simeone looks to find a solution at the centre-back position.
However, their partnership is yet to quite flourish for Los Rojiblancos, as ever since the Giménez's injury they have kept only one clean sheet.
This has seen their season stutter and stall as they now sit three points off the top having drawn three of their last four La Liga games.
This injury will be a huge blow for Atlético who are often praised for their defensive efforts especially with Simeone's tactics. There is a completely new look to their defence having lost Diego Godin to Inter Milan over the summer and injuries to both Giménez and Savic.
Barcelona visit the Wanda Metropolitano this weekend sitting pretty at the top of the table on 28 points after 13 games - level with Real Madrid. A win away at Atléti would boost their title chances further and be a statement to the rest of the league.
There's no doubt that this will be a boost to Barcelona as Giménez is arguably the home side's best defender. How much Simeone and his team miss him this Sunday is yet to be seen but judging by previous weeks, they will struggle to keep Barcelona's deadly attack at bay.