Coentrao ruled out for Madrid until March

The defender was reported to have picked up an injury in training on Wednesday and the European champions have now confirmed he has a calf problem

Fabio Coentrao is expected to be out of action for Real Madrid until March after picking up a calf injury in training this week.

The European champions confirmed in a statement on Thursday that reports suggesting Coentrao had a problem with his right calf were true and he is suspected to be facing three weeks out of action.

The left-back has been a bit-part player for Real Madrid this season having fallen behind Marcelo in the pecking order.

Coentrao has started just three games in La Liga this season and two of those were defeats to Atletico Madrid, including last weekend’s humiliating 4-0 derby loss. The 26-year-old was sent off against Espanyol on the only other occasion he has been named in the starting XI.

However, the Portugal international being sidelined leaves Carlo Ancelotti with fewer options for rotation with the Champions League knockout stage about to begin.

Holders Real Madrid have been drawn against Schalke in the last 16 after winning all six matches in the group stage earlier this campaign.

As well as certainly missing next Wednesday’s opening leg against Schalke at the Veltins Arena, Coentrao is expected to be absent from the squad for Liga clashes with Deportivo La Coruna, Elche and Villarreal.

If he can make a full recovery in three weeks, as predicted, then he could make his next appearance at Athletic on March 7 or in the return leg of their clash with Schalke three days later.

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