MADRID Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos is at risk of missing next month's derby with Atletico Madrid after scans revealed the knee injury he sustained playing for Spain on Sunday was worse than first feared.
Ramos has been diagnosed with a grade two sprain of the media collateral ligament in his left knee after falling awkwardly late in the second half in Spain's 2-0 win in Albania, Real said in a statement on Monday.
The club did not specify how long Ramos will be out for, although Spanish media reported that he could be unavailable for six weeks, rather than the four weeks initially expected.
As well as missing La Liga fixtures against Real Betis, Athletic Bilbao, Alaves and Leganes and two Champions League group games with Legia Warsaw, Ramos faces a race against time to be fit for the short trip to La Liga leaders Atletico on the weekend of Nov. 19.
Ramos has also been ruled out of Spain's World Cup qualifier against Macedonia on Nov. 12 and the friendly with England on Nov. 15.
Although Ramos has struggled for form this season, his absence comes at a worrying time for the European champions, who have drawn their last four games and will also be without midfield duo Luka Modric and Casemiro for the rest of October.
Colombia international James Rodriguez is recovering from a calf injury he sustained in the warm-up before last Sunday's surprise 1-1 draw at home to Eibar.
Rodriguez flew home in preparation for World Cup qualifiers against Paraguay and Uruguay but was deemed unfit and has returned to the Spanish capital.
(Reporting by Richard Martin, editing by Ed Osmond)