(Update 1: Adds coach’s quotes and more details throughout)
Madrid, Mar 19 (EFE).- Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema will miss the Classico against Barcelona due to a calf injury the striker sustained in the Merengues’ 3-0 win over Mallorca.
The Frenchman did not take part in Saturday’s training session nor make the squad for Sunday’s game as he did not recover from the injury he suffered on Monday.
“Benzema won’t play tomorrow because he hasn’t trained yet, he’s feeling a bit of discomfort, it’s a small one, but it’s preventing him from training and, obviously playing,” coach Carlo Ancelotti said at a presser prior to the game.
The 34-year-old scored eight goals in the last five games, including a brace against Mallorca, which brought his total tally to 22 LaLiga goals in 25 matches.
“Benzema is obviously a very important part of this team and Karim is very good at putting the finishing touch to the team’s work,” the Italian said.
“Without Karim in the team, we have to put in the same effort and seek other solutions. I’m not concerned about Karim.
“He’s obviously 34 years old and it’s now happened to him a couple of times that after having recovered from small knocks he has made all the difference on his return,” he added.
Real Madrid have had to do without the Frenchman seven times this season, claiming five victories, a draw and a defeat.
Benzema will also miss France’s friendlies against Ivory Coast and South Africa, scheduled for March 25 and 29 respectively.
Milan’s forward Olivier Giroud has been summoned by coach Didier Deschamps to replace Benzema. EFE