Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema has been ruled out of the El Clasico due to a calf injury.

In the final training session before Sunday’s Liga derby, the Frenchman did not train with the rest of his teammates. With a calf injury, Karim Benzema has been ruled out of Sunday’s Clasico between Real Madrid and Barcelona.

Benzema had been racing against time to heal from his injury in time for the Liga match, but he did not train with his teammates in the final session before the game. The France international is now doubtful for his country’s upcoming matches during the international break, and could opt to stay in Madrid ahead of the season’s closing months.

The striker has a left calf injury that required him to be substituted after he sustained it during Monday’s 3-0 Liga victory over Mallorca. Although Benzema’s injury is not serious and he will return after the two-week international break, he has been ruled out of the crucial match against Barcelona. On Sunday, Madrid will face Barcelona in a bid to expand their 10-point lead over Sevilla in La Liga and their 15-point lead over the Blaugrana in third.

But, more importantly for Madrid, Benzema is likely to return before the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final against Chelsea on April 6. Benzema was instrumental in Madrid’s progression to the final eight, scoring a hat-trick in the second leg of their last-16 tie with PSG, which the Spanish side won 3-2 on aggregate.

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