Madrid midfielder Khedira likely out for Barcelona
Real Madrid is likely to be without midfielder Sami Khedira for
the first leg of its Champions League semifinal against
Khedira was left out of the squad for Saturday’s league match at
Valencia with what coach Jose Mourinho called a muscle injury that
compromises his chances of making next Wednesday’s match at the
Santiago Bernabeu Stadium.
”Tomorrow he can’t play and I can practically guarantee he
won’t play on Wednesday unless a miracle happens, as it usually
needs to with muscular injuries,” Mourinho said on Friday.
The Germany midfielder played a key role in Madrid’s 1-0 win
over Barcelona in the Copa del Rey final.
Khedira, Xabi Alonso and Pepe created a defensive bloc that
helped neutralize Barcelona’s dangerous attack, which didn’t manage
a shot for the first 51 minutes of the domestic cup final.
Spanish reports suggested Khedira tore a thigh muscle and could
miss the rest of the season, but Mourinho would not confirm the
extent of his injury.
”Whenever a player is injured it’s bad news, it limits the team
and the coach’s work,” Mourinho said. ”Obviously we’re sad for
him and for us but to say that he won’t return this season is
Angel Di Maria and Emmanuel Adebayor will also miss Saturday’s
match because of injury while Mourinho left defender Sergio Ramos
out to provide a rest. Mourinho can likely count on Lassana Diarra
in Khedira’s place after the France midfielder returned from injury
to train on Friday.
Mourinho urged his players to put Madrid’s cup win behind them
and focus on the league again, as the club trails leader Barcelona
by eight points with six rounds left.
”Tomorrow is the game we have to play, and think about it. We
won the cup and it’s over. The happiness we feel from winning the
cup is finished,” Mourinho said. ”I’m not thinking about
Wednesday’s game yet, there’s still lots of time left to go.”