Real Madrid confirmed Tuesday that midfielder Marcos Llorente has suffered a thigh problem but have given no indication how long he may be out of action for.
"Following the tests carried out today on our player Marcos Llorente by the Real Madrid medical team, he has been diagnosed with a grade 2 injury to his left adductor. His recovery will continue to be assessed," the club said in a statement on their official website.
According to Marca, the midfielder will be sidelined for the "next few weeks" with the problem.
The news will be a blow to Real Madrid who have a busy fixture list in January. Los Blancos play Villarreal, Real Sociedad, Real Betis, Sevilla and Espanyol in La Liga. They also face two games against Leganes in the Copa del Rey.
The injury is particularly ill-timed, as Llorente has shone for Real Madrid in recent weeks while Casemiro has been out injured.
The 23-year-old helped Real Madrid win the FIFA Club World Cup for a third year in a row in December. He also scored his first goal for the club in the 4-1 final win over Al Ain:
ESPN FC's Dermot Corrigan noted how he was the best player on the pitch in the final:
Llorente's form has been a major positive for Real Madrid in what has been a difficult season. The club fired manager Julen Lopetegui after just three months in charge in October and replaced him with Santiago Solari.
The young midfielder struggled for game time at the start of the season, but Casemiro's injury allowed him a chance to stake a claim, and he's gone on to make eight appearances in all competitions for the club.
Llorente had been linked with a move to Alaves in the January transfer window but said after the Club World Cup final he was not planning on leaving the Santiago Bernabeu, per Marca (h/t Football Espana).
"I'm sure I will stay, I'm really happy and I have no intention of leaving. It's true that in life, like football, the situation can change from night to morning and you cannot lower your aims, you have to take advantage of your opportunities."
Corrigan said incorporating Llorente and Casemiro will present Solari with a great challenge:
Llorente's injury means Solari will not have to address the problem in the short-term, as fit-again Casemiro will be expected to slot straight back into the team.
However, he does face serious competition for his place when Llorente returns to action, as the youngster has already shown this season he has the quality to play an important role for Real Madrid.