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Real Madrid defender Pepe could miss El Clásico due to injury

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Madrid have defensive problems for the run-in

Real Madrid CF v Club Atletico de Madrid - La Liga Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Real Madrid defender Pepe is a big doubt for El Clasico against Barcelona in two weeks after fracturing two ribs in the 1-1 draw with Atlético Madrid on Saturday.

The Portuguese center-back, who scored Madrid’s opener against Atlético, clashed heavily with team-mate Toni Kroos and was unable to continue, leaving the pitch after 67 minutes.

Madrid subsequently released a statement confirming the injury. This is a big problem for Los Blancos, who are already set to be without Raphael Varane for the game against Barça due to a thigh problem.

"Following the tests carried out on Pepe at the Sanitas la Moraleja University Hospital, the player has been diagnosed with fractures to his 7th and 8th left ribs. His recovery will continue to be assessed," read a statement.

Pepe’s injury will leave Zinedine Zidane’s men short at the back with Sergio Ramos and Nacho Hernández their only fit central defenders for the run-in.