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Injuries woes for Real Madrid ahead of El Clasico

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Madrid, Nov 23 (IANS) Real Madrid face a possible injury crisis just 10 days away from the "El Clasico" derby football match away against traditional rivals FC Barcelona in La Liga on December 3.

Although Tuesday's 2-1 win away against Sporting Lisbon saw Madrid assure their place in the last 16 of the Champions League, it came at a price as both forward Gareth Bale and left back Marcelo were forced to leave the pitch with injuries, reports Xinhua.

Bale was forced to leave the pitch in the 57th minute after a challenge from Sporting defender Sebastian Coates.

Although Bale returned to the pitch after treatment, he was seen limping and in evident pain minutes later and was replaced by Marco Asensio.

"I am still not sure about the status of the injury, it is an ankle problem and we will have to see, but at the moment he is not very good," explained Zidane after their win on Tuesday.

Although Zidane said it was "premature" to say whether Bale would be able to play the El Clasico, he admitted the injury was "not a mere knock... but I don't know what it is".

An injury for Bale would be a serious blow for Real Madrid his possible replacement Alvaro Morata is also sidelined with a hamstring problem.

Marcelo hurt his ankle in a challenge with Gelson Martins and left the pitch with just 21 minutes remaining to be replaced by Fabio Coentrao.

Zidane will also hope Marcelo is not suffering from anything serious as Coentrao looked far from assured in his display against Sporting Lisbon.

Coentrao was poor during his 20 minutes on the ground, looking slow and off the pace and also conceding a penalty, which momentarily allowed Sporting to equalise in the game.

--IANS

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