Injuries continue to disrupt Real Madrid


The latest injury to Real Madrid's German midfielder Sami Khedira comes at a tricky time for the La Liga champions with a potential banana skin awaiting at Real Mallorca on Sunday.

Khedira was forced off in the 20th minute of Wednesday's 2-1 Champions League defeat at Borussia Dortmund when he aggravated a leg muscle problem and his replacement, Luka Modric, is not as accomplished in the central holding role alongside Xabi Alonso.

Another option for coach Jose Mourinho is Modric's fellow new signing Michael Essien, but with Marcelo, Fabio Coentrao and Alvaro Arbeloa also sidelined, the former Chelsea midfielder has been filling in at left back.

Essien looked uncomfortable against pacy Dortmund pair Lukasz Piszczek and Marco Reus on Wednesday and goalkeeper Iker Casillas acknowledged the left side of defence was a problem.

"It's true that they got a lot of joy down our left wing," the Real and Spain captain told reporters.

"You noticed it a lot in the game," he added. "We are suffering a lot of injuries and Khedira's is another setback."

Real have clawed their way up to fourth after a poor start to the defence of their title but remain eight points behind joint leaders Barcelona and Atletico Madrid and three behind third-placed Malaga.

Barca play at Rayo Vallecano and Malaga are away to Espanyol on Saturday, while Atletico host Osasuna on Sunday.


Mallorca, coached by the wily and experienced Joaquin Caparros, have made a solid start to their campaign and the Balearic islanders are eighth on 11 points.

New signing Giovanni Dos Santos made his debut against Sevilla on Monday and provided two goal assists as Mallorca fell 3-2 at the Sanchez Pizjuan despite twice taking the lead.

The 23-year-old Mexico forward, a graduate of the Barcelona youth academy, signed for Tottenham Hotspur in 2008 but failed to settle and had loan spells with Ipswich Town, Galatasaray and Racing Santander.

After helping Mexico win gold at the Olympic Games in London this summer, he sealed a move to Mallorca, where he hopes to find some of the consistency that has so far eluded him.

"It's clear that I will get a lot better as long as I keep getting more time on the pitch, I know that," Dos Santos said in an interview with As sports daily published on Thursday.

"I know that I still need to improve," he added.

Barca have their own selection headaches for the Rayo game, especially in defence with centre backs Carles Puyol and Gerard Pique and right back Daniel Alves all injured.

They will also almost certainly be without Javier Mascherano after he was sent off in Saturday's 5-4 win at Deportivo Coruna.

Barca said on Wednesday they had lodged an appeal against the dismissal, although the soccer federation (RFEF) is unlikely to exonerate the Argentine, a converted midfielder who plays in central defence.


A model of a Neanderthal man on display at the National Museum of Prehistory in Dordogne, France
Richard Dawkins dedicated his book 'The Greatest Show on Earth' to Josh Timonen
newsThat's Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome
Arts and Entertainment
Eye of the beholder? 'Concrete lasagne' Preston bus station
architectureWhich monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Dinosaurs Unleashed at the Eden Project
Arts and Entertainment
Life and Style
This month marks the 20th anniversary of the first online sale
techDespite a host of other online auction sites and fierce competition from Amazon, eBay is still the most popular e-commerce site in the UK
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home