Real Madrid are locked in a furious battle with FC Barcelona and Atletico Madrid for the La Liga crown, but they may have to catch up without defender Marcelo. The Brazilian had to be subbed out of Madrid's match against Villarreal in the 17th minute, according to the club's official Twitter account:
AS English revealed more about the nature of the injury:
Marcelo seems to have tweaked something in his lower back.— AS English (@English_AS) February 8, 2014
Marcelo has been an important part of the back line for Los Blancos and has played in every Madrid game this season. His sturdy defense, combined with pace and ability to fly down the wings as an attacker, made him a natural replacement for Roberto Carlos in Real's defense, so his injury is a serious concern for manager Carlo Ancelotti.
The extent of the injury is currently unclear, as is the defender's status for Madrid's Copa Del Rey semi-final matchup against Atletico Madrid Tuesday. His absence would be unfortunate for Madrid, and both the defense and attack of Los Blancos would be affected if Marcelo is forced to miss significant time due to the injury.