Kovacic facing length lay-off

Mateo Kovacic could be out of action until December after Real Madrid confirmed he had torn a muscle in his leg against APOEL on Wednesday.

The 23-year-old midfielder was forced off by the injury just 20 minutes into Real’s 3-0 win in their Champions League Group H opener at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Scans done on Thursday revealed the extent of the damage, and Kovacic is now facing a lengthy spell on the sidelines having made his first start of the season in midweek.

Los Blancos didn’t give a timescale for his return, but the Croatia international is expected to be ruled out for roughly two months.

“Following the tests carried out on Mateo Kovacic in the Sanitas la Moraleja University Hospital, the player has been diagnosed with a partial tear of the adductor muscle tendon in his right leg,” read a statement on the club’s official website. “His recovery will continue to be assessed.”