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Sergio Ramos could miss Real Madrid's Champions League tie with Liverpool (on Paramount+) as well as El Clasico after suffering a muscle injury in his left leg. Madrid have yet to announce timetable for Ramos' recovery but reports in Spain suggest he could miss a month of football, enough to rule him out of both legs of the Liverpool quarterfinal in addition to the clash with Barcelona that bisects them on April 10.

"After the tests carried out today on our captain Sergio Ramos by the Real Madrid Medical Services - he was diagnosed with a muscle injury in the internal twin of his left leg," a statement confirmed with no clear indication over a potential timescale. "Pending evolution," did however suggest that further assessments will be required on the cornerstone of Madrid's defense.

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Posting on Instagram, Ramos offered further indication that his absence would not be a brief one. "Yesterday, after the [Spain game against Kosovo], I was training on the pitch and I noticed a puncture in my left calf. Today I have been tested and it has been confirmed that I have a muscle injury.

"If there is something that hurts me, it is not being able to help the team in these highly demanding matches in which we play the season and also not being able to return the love and energy that you transmit to me on the pitch. I can't do anything but speak frankly, work hard and cheer on the team with my soul."

The 35-year-old missed over a month of football with a torn meniscus earlier this year and had been being eased back into contention for his club and country. Ramos played 45 minutes of Spain's opening international fixture against Greece, missed the win in Georgia and was substituted on for the final five minutes of their victory over Kosovo in UEFA World Cup qualifying.

Nacho Fernandez would be the natural choice to replace Ramos alongside Raphael Varane in defense but another injury does nothing to ease the headache head coach Zinedine Zidane faces at the back ahead of this weekend's game against Eibar and the crucial Champions League tie that follows. Right-back Dani Carvajal is expected to miss the first leg of the latter whilst Alvaro Odriozola has also been struggling for fitness in recent weeks.

Eden Hazard (muscle), Toni Kroos (groin) and Federico Valverde (leg) are also doubts for the quarterfinals.

Madrid have struggled mightily in the Champions League without Ramos and lost both matches against Shakhtar Donetsk in this season's group stages. Indeed in their last 10 European matches without their captain their record is three wins and seven defeats.