Real Madrid have confirmed defender Sergio Ramos is set for a spell on the sidelines after suffering a muscle injury while on international duty with Spain.
Ramos was used sparingly during Spain's three fixtures. He was brought of at half-time during the first game, and after being an unused substitute for the second, he managed just four minutes off the bench in the third and final match.
They look set to be the last minutes Ramos will see for a while as Real confirmed on their official website that the 35-year-old has picked up a muscle injury which will force him into a period on the sidelines.
Such a layoff would mean that Ramos, who has managed just four appearances for Real in 2021, would miss El Clasico against Barcelona on April 10 as well as both Champions League quarter-final legs against Liverpool.
"The truth is that I have had a pretty tough few weeks," Ramos wrote on Instagram. "An operation is always tough from a sporting and emotional standpoint. Luckily, for a few days now I have been feeling better, but in football as in life, bad luck also plays a role.
"Yesterday, after the game, I was training on the pitch and I noticed a pain in my left calf. Today I have been tested and it has been confirmed that I have a muscle injury.
"If there is something that hurts me, it is not being able to help the team in these highly demanding matches in which we play the season and also not being able to return the love and energy that you transmit to me on the pitch. I can't do anything but speak frankly, work hard and cheer on the team with my soul."
Ramos had only just returned after a knee injury, managing 61 minutes against Elche before a knock ruled him out of Real's final match before the international break.
Amid all the injury struggles, there's the small matter of Ramos' contract to sort out. Real are reluctant to make any long-term commitment to the defender while he remains injured, and given Ramos can't seem to stay healthy, talks look set to drag on a little while longer.