Real Madrid duo Gareth Bale and Toni Kroos could both be forced to sit out the UEFA Super Cup clash with Sevilla on Tuesday.
Cristiano Ronaldo has already ruled himself out of the match in Trondheim as he continues to recover from a knee injury sustained in Portugal’s victorious Euro 2016 final.
The Champions League holders have been dealt a further blow with the news that Bale, Kroos and centre-back Pepe – all of whom were granted extended holidays after the tournament in France – could all be too short on fitness to be risked against Sevilla.
“I don’t think Bale, Kroos, and Pepe will be fit enough,” boss Zinedine Zidane said following a 1-0 International Champions Cup win over Bayern Munich. “Those who haven’t been with us during pre-season will be evaluated when they return to Madrid.”
Striker Karim Benzema could be fit enough to play a part, however, after sitting out pre-season duties so far in a bid to recover from a hip problem.
“Karim will be training with us and then we’ll see what we do,” Zidane said. “We hope that he’ll be able to play in the Super Cup.
“He’s getting stronger and he’s trained with us. It’s tough when you aren’t able to train as usual, but the most important thing is that he’s with us.”