MADRID (Reuters) - Real Madrid forward Eden Hazard is annoyed after having yet another injury setback with a muscle injury but is remaining in high spirits as he will not be out for long, coach Zinedine Zidane said after the 1-0 win over Real Valladolid on Wednesday.
Hazard was set to make his first appearance of the season against Valladolid after missing a chunk of pre-season and earlier fixtures with Real Sociedad and Real Betis due to fitness struggles.
But his hopes were dashed by a muscle injury to his right leg sustained in the final training session before the match, which Spanish media reports say will keep him out of action for between three and four weeks.
“He is annoyed, of course, because he was in good shape before the game, we were happy with him and he was happy too but he picked up something in training, which can always happen when you haven’t played for a while” Zidane said.
“He’s not happy but he knows it’s not a big deal and we have to stay calm, he won’t be out for a long time although I can’t say for how long.”
Hazard, who watched the win over Valladolid from the stands, will miss Sunday’s trip to Levante as well as Belgium’s friendly with the Ivory Coast plus their Nations League fixtures against England and Iceland.
He also risks missing Madrid’s game against Cadiz after the international break and the ‘Clasico’ with Barcelona on Oct. 25.
The Belgian forward joined Real Madrid from Chelsea last year for a joint-club record fee of 100 million euros ($117 million).
But his impact in Spain has been minimal due to two serious ankle injuries, leading him to make only 14 league starts last season and score only one goal.
“He is a little upset and sad, he was training well this week and was really looking forward to returning,” added Madrid and Belgium goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois.
“He was looking just as fast as usual and this new injury is a little setback for him but at least it’s not the ankle.”
($1 = 0.8538 euros)
Reporting by Richard Martin; Editing by Christian Radnedge and Richard Pullin
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