Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane expressed his annoyance with his side’s growing injury problems after a setback to defender Dani Carvajal in Sunday’s 2-0 La Liga win over Valencia left him with eight stricken players at a crucial stage of the season.
Right-back Carvajal was returning after more than a month out with a muscle injury but limped off in the 28th minute, heightening the shortages in defence after Marcelo was injured on Tuesday and Sergio Ramos had knee surgery the previous week.
“I don’t understand it, we’ve had so many (injuries) and I’m worried,” Zidane said after an otherwise comfortable home win over Valencia as Real returned to second in the standings, five points behind Atletico Madrid who have two games in hand.
“Carvajal suffered a relapse of the previous injury and I really feel for him because he was feeling good and playing well and he’s an important player for us. It’s always annoying when you lose a player.”
Real’s deputy right-back Alvaro Odriozola and centre back Eder Militao are also injured, while forwards Eden Hazard and Rodrygo are out until next month and Uruguayan midfielder Federico Valverde is also currently unavailable.
Real have seven games until the international break in late March, including both legs of their Champions League last-16 tie with Atalanta and a title showdown with Atletico on March 7.
Zidane did not offer any explanation for the large number of injuries and, although earlier in the season he complained about the strain the congested fixture list was having on players, he did not wish to criticise the schedule anymore.
“I’m not going to get involved in that debate, we already have enough problems. The schedule is what it is and we did not have a normal pre-season and we’ve had many injuries but all we can do is keep going,” he said.
“I feel for every player who has got injured, it’s the worst thing about being a coach.”