Life without Sergio Ramos isn’t easy for Real Madrid, but they might have to get used to it. His injury setback has come at the worst possible time.
Almost a month since he last took to the field against Athletic Club, the 34-year-old will now spend up to another two months out following knee surgery. This means this should be the longest injury absence of his career.
This considerable disappointment has arrived at a time when the club captain is locked in negotiations over a contract extension, with his current deal set to expire in June. It will likely be April before Ramos can return to action for Real Madrid and unless there are any surprises, he will still be without a new contract by then.
The injury, surgery, and upcoming lay-off further complicate a situation that was already causing angst between both the player and the club.
Either contract talks could freeze until the center-back completes his recovery work or he can settle his differences with the club over his contract.
In a purely sporting sense, Real Madrid will find life without Ramos tough for the next few weeks. Historically, they don’t cope well without their skipper.
This season alone, Los Blancos have lost five of the 10 matches Ramos has missed – six in LaLiga Santander, three in the Champions League, and one in the Copa del Rey.
The defender’s first half-absence came when he was injured in the first half of Cadiz’s visit to Valdebebas in October. Real Madrid would go on to lose the game 1-0, though Choco Lozano’s goal came with Ramos on the pitch.
The veteran missed the following game against Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League, which his team also lost.
In November and December, Ramos missed five games with a muscle injury. Real Madrid beat Inter and Sevilla, lost to Alaves and Shakhtar, and drew with Villarreal.
Since Ramos last played against Athletic in the Supercopa on January 14, Los Blancos have won two and lost one of their three games in LaLiga Santander, plus the defeat to Alcoyano in the Copa.