Real Madrid CF's injury woes continue as midfielder Luka Modric becomes the latest addition to the list of sidelined players in the 2023-24 season. The Croatian star had to leave the field in the 70th minute during Sunday's game against Cadiz, signaling discomfort on the left side of his body.
Although Modric didn't display signs of severe pain, his early exit and discussions with teammates on the pitch suggested a potential injury concern. Real Madrid's medical team is set to conduct further assessments, with initial indications pointing towards a muscle overload, rather than a serious injury.
Carlo Ancelotti, the team's manager, addressed the situation in a post-match press conference, downplaying the severity of Modric's condition. "Modric's issue was a muscle overload, nothing more," Ancelotti said, noting that Modric had been playing in an unfamiliar defensive position. Spanish sports daily AS reports mild discomfort in Modric's left hip, but the club remains optimistic about his quick recovery.
Modric's reduced playing time this season has been a notable change under Ancelotti's management. Despite being a pivotal player, Modric has started in only five out of 14 league matches, with additional appearances as a substitute. His role in the Champions League has similarly been limited, starting in just two out of four games. This reduction in playing time is a stark contrast to his usual involvement in previous seasons.
The timing of Modric's injury comes as a particular blow, considering Real Madrid's current injury list, which includes Eduardo Camavinga, Aurelien Tchouameni, and Arda Guler. Modric's performance against Cadiz had been a reminder of his undiminished skills, potentially paving the way for more regular starts amidst the squad's injury crisis.
Ancelotti faces the challenge of managing his midfield resources, with Modric's experience and talent being crucial for the team's performance. The Italian manager will likely weigh the option of resting Modric in the upcoming Champions League fixture against Napoli, especially since Real Madrid has already secured a spot in the knockout stage.
At 38, Modric continues to set records, being the second oldest player to feature in a league match for Real Madrid, just behind the legendary Ferenc Puskas. His contribution to the team remains invaluable, and his quick return to fitness will be crucial as Real Madrid navigates through a packed and challenging season.
Real Madrid fans and management alike will be eagerly awaiting further updates on Modric's condition, hoping that the Croatian maestro will be back on the pitch soon to help steer the team through the remainder of the season.