Karim Benzema Injury: Updates on Real Madrid Star's Status and Return

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured Columnist

Real Madrid's French forward Karim Benzema controls the ball during the Spanish league football match Real Madrid CF vs RCD Espanyol at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid on January 31, 2016.   AFP PHOTO / CURTO DE LA TORRE / AFP / CURTO DE LA TORRE        (Photo credit should read CURTO DE LA TORRE/AFP/Getty Images)

Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema picked up a hamstring injury in the Feb. 27 derby loss against Atletico Madrid, but he is nearing a return.

Continue for updates.

Latest on Benzema's Training Status

Friday, March 11

Benzema Irreplaceable for Madrid

The Frenchman is the Madrid giants' only genuine out-and-out striker, and his goal tally for the season currently stands at an impressive 23 strikes in 23 starts, per WhoScored.com.

He entered the top 10 of Real's all-time leading goalscorers in January and, along with Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo, makes up one of Europe's most effective attacking trios. 

Manager Zinedine Zidane has a number of players to call upon in Benzema's absence, with the likes of Ronaldo, Isco and Jese Rodriguez all able to play in the No. 9 role. Borja Mayoral is also an option.

However, Benzema's link-up play and ability to create space are essential to Real's attacking prowess, and he is an undisputed starter when fit because of his impact.

It can be seen from the 10 assists he provided in the 2014-15 La Liga season that Benzema is relied on for more than just his goalscoring, per WhoScored.

Zidane will eagerly await Benzema's return and will be comforted by the sight of his striker back in training.