REAL MADRID

Vázquez and Kovacic ruled out of busy January schedule

Zinedine Zidane will have to do without Lucas Vazquez and Mateo Kovacic for a hectic New Year fixture list -- in which Real Madrid play five times in 17 days -- after the pair reported back from the Christmas break with injuries.

Problemas para Zidane: Lucas Vázquez y Kovacic, lesionados
PEPE ANDRES DIARIO AS

Lucas Vázquez and Mateo Kovacic are set to miss most of January after suffering injuries in the Club World Cup in Japan earlier this month.

The two players failed to return to training with the rest of the Real Madrid squad on Wednesday as Vazquez reported back from the Christmas break with a torn right calf muscle and Kovacic a sprained left ankle.

The Spanish winger could be out for up to four weeks while the Croatian is facing three weeks on the sidelines.

Kovacic (l) suffered the injury in the Club World Cup final

Find out what games Vázquez and Kovacic will miss here.

Busy new year schedule 

It is a prognosis that comes as unwelcome news to coach Zinedine Zidane, with both players likely to have started the Copa del Rey Last 16 clash versus Sevilla on 4 January and with the team facing a busy New Year schedule with five games in 17 days between the cup first leg and Malaga’s trip to the Bernabéu on 21 January.

Read: Vázquez layoff poses Zidane headache over Isco and James

Aside from the injured duo, captain Sergio Ramos also missed full training on Thursday along with Portuguese defensive pairing, Pepe and Coentrao. Gareth Bale, meanwhile, continued his recovery from ankle surgery with a workout in the gym.