Madrid battling injury plague
Top Spanish side Atlético Madrid were without five key players for their recent Spanish League clash, and they will carry the same problems into the VELUX EHF Champions League.
The most severe injury was that of goalkeeper Jose Javier Hombrados, who will be out of action for at least six months after the anterior cruciate ligament ruptured in his left knee.
Returning to court long before him will be Danish left back Nikolaj Markussen, who still has a one or two weeks of rehab after a Grade 1 rupture in his right leg abductor suffered on 14 October in the VELUX EHF Champions League match against MKB Veszprém.
Injuries have meant that Markussen has only played two matches so far this season, having already missed the start of season because of the surgery he had on September 12 to remove a lump in the back of his left knee.
And Croatian centre back Ivano Balić has not escaped without injury, having missed the last four matches of Atlético because of intercostal pain.
Balić’s pain was combined with flu when he played against THW Kiel in the VELUX EHF Champions League, and that significantly decreased his performance against German team.
His injury means Balić is a doubt for Atlético's next Spanish League match against BM Villa de Aranda next Saturday.
Talant Dujshebaev will not know until last minute if he can count on Álvaro Ferrer for that game, the middle back suffering from a sore hip, and French right back Xavier Barachet could not play last Sunday because of the knock he suffered to his left hand in the match against IK Sävehof.
But that injury shouldn’t stop Barachet playing in France’s two EHF EURO 2014 qualification matches against Lithuania and Turkey at the beginning of November.
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TEXT: Javier Villanueva / br