La Liga giants Real Madrid have been dealt a huge blow in their title aspirations as German international midfielder Toni Kroos has been ruled out for some time with a broken bone in his foot.
According to Spanish publication AS, the 26-year-old sustained the injury during the weekend clash with Leganes, which Real won 3-0 thanks to two goals from Gareth Bale and another from Alvaro Morata.
Real currently sit in top spot, and Kroos has been a key member of their squad so far this term, but they will now have to do without him for somewhere in between six to eight week while he recovers.
Article continues below
'Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos is looking at being out for six to eight weeks, after suffering an avulsion fracture (where part of the bone is torn off, often under extreme tension from a tendon or ligament) to the fifth metatarsal in his right foot,' the report explains.
And the injury now means that Zinedine Zidane has a real injury headache to contend with in the centre of midfield.
Article continues below
The club are still without defensive midfielder Casemiro, who is recovering from a broken leg, and while Luka Modric was back in the squad against Leganes, he is still returning to full fitness following his own injury lay off.
Kroos had featured for the whole 90 minutes in the past 11 Madrid games, but he may not see action again this year as he flies home to Germany for treatment.
This now means that Kroos will miss a number of crucial games in Real's calendar. He will be forced to sit out of the upcoming Madrid derby with Atletico, while El Clasico will also be off the menu next month. There are also Champions League ties with Sporting Lisbon and Borussia Dortmund to contend with.
Kroos has only bagged one goal so far this season, but Zinedine Zidane has recently faced criticism for an apparent over reliance on the World Cup winner.
Questions were asked of the Frenchman as to whether he felt he was using Kroos too much, but Zidane felt that he didn't need to worry about the player suffering from burnout.
"I'm not worried at all because Toni, even after only one day of rest, is already ready to play in the next game," Zidane said ahead of October's 2-1 win over Athletic Bilbao (via Goal).
This could now mean that Zidane will be forced into something of a reshuffle, and perhaps relying on a number of fringe players and youngsters coming up from their B team.
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: http://gms.to/writeforgms