Real Madrid’s Toni Kroos is facing a race against time to be play against Paris Saint-Germain in the second leg of the Champions League, reports Marca.
The German midfielder injured his left knee ligament during the 3-1 victory in the first match at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium on Wednesday.
He was among the stand-out players, controlling the tempo in the middle of the park, as Los Blancos came back from a goal down.
Concern for Kroos and Real Madrid
Kroos is expected to miss this weekend’s fixture against Real Betis, with Mateo Kovacic set to take the German’s place, but manager Zinedine Zidane will want him back for the return leg, when PSG visit to the Parc des Princes on 6th March.
The 28-year-old was as hard-working as ever, running 13 kilometres and had a better pass completion than any other player during the match, as a Cristiano Ronaldo double gave them the advantage heading into the home tie.
He has often been the quiet, unassuming, yet lethal force that keeps Real Madrid’s midfield together, often providing the transition from defence to attack seamlessly.
Kovacic needs to impress
Kroos’s absence will be a worry for the Spanish capital outfit, as they seek to do battle on three fronts, including ensuring Champions League qualification for next season, as they currently sit in the fourth and final place in La Liga by just five points.
Due to the German only missing three matches in the top flight all season, it presents an opportunity for Kovacic to impress and get some game time, with five fixtures between now and their next encounter with PSG.
With just one start in the league so far in this campaign, the Croatian midfielder will need to hit the ground running with the likes of Marcos Llorente and Dani Ceballos both waiting to pounce and get their own opportunity to shine in Kroos’s absence.