Belgium manager Roberto Martinez has claimed Eden Hazard could miss the rest of the season after breaking his ankle for Real Madrid.
The 29-year-old hobbled off the pitch during Real’s shock 1-0 defeat to Levante on Saturday and is now set for another lengthy spell on the sidelines.
Could Hazard miss the season? Five things to know…
- Since completing his move from Chelsea last summer, Hazard has struggled to stay injury-free in Madrid.
- The Belgian only returned to the first-team fold in mid-February after missing three months with a separate ankle agitation.
- He has since sustained another ankle injury, with Real confirming it is a “fracture to his right distal fibula”.
- Real fell to a limp 1-0 defeat against Levante, with Zidane revealing after the match that Hazard’s injury “looked bad”.
- Belgium manager Martinez believes Hazard will miss the rest of the campaign as he prepares his side for Euro 2020.
The former Chelsea talisman has struggled to remain unblemished at the Bernabeu since completing his £88.5m transfer last summer.
Hazard returned to action earlier this month after overcoming a separate ankle agitation which kept had him sidelined since November, but he now looks set for another lengthy layoff in the treatment rooms.
Real have since confirmed the diagnosis as a “fracture to his right distal fibula” but are yet to reveal the length of Hazard’s latest setback.
However, Martinez believes his star player could miss the remainder of the campaign and is now sweating over the fitness of the forward as he prepares his Belgium side for this summer’s European Championships.
“We are all very sad, because this injury will leave him out of action for at least three months,” Martinez told reporters.
“A footballer like Eden should always be on the pitch. We have excellent communication with Real Madrid’s medical team and we are anxious about Eden.
“It’s a shame, because it has also happened before an important game as that of Manchester City.”
The news will come as a significant blow to Zinedine Zidane and his aspirations in Europe, but will be a welcome sight for Pep Guardiola as he prepares his side for a Champions League last-16 first leg clash against Real on Wednesday.
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Zidane: It doesn’t look good
Although a timescale is yet to be determined regarding Hazard’s latest injury complication, Zidane has gone on record to reveal immediate concerns.
“It doesn’t look good,” Zidane told reporters at a news conference.
“It can become weak where you’ve had an injury. It is a blow, let’s see.
“It’s sore now but we’ll see tomorrow [Sunday] when we do more tests.”