Atletico dealt David Villa injury blow
Simeone pleased to hit summit
David Villa is likely to miss both games of Atletico Madrid’s Copa del Rey semifinal double header against Real Madrid, and is a doubt for their Champions League last 16 first leg at AC Milan, after picking up a hamstring strain in Sunday’s 4-0 La Liga win over Real Sociedad.
Villa opened the scoring in the game at the Estadio Vicente Calderon just before half-time -- and celebrated with an emotional gesture for his former coach Luis Aragones, an Atletico legend who died on Saturday.
Spain’s record international goalscorer almost immediately had to leave the pitch after apparently injuring a muscle -- and tests carried out on Monday morning detected a relatively minor hamstring problem, suggesting he faced 10 days to two weeks on the sidelines, making him touch-and-go for Atletico’s game at Milan’s San Siro on Wednesday’s Feb. 19.
Atletico confirmed the news with a tweet, saying: “David Villa has suffered a pull without a tear [grade 1] in the femoral bicep muscle of his left thigh.”
David Villa sufre una elongación/distensión sin rotura (grado I) del músculo bicep femoral de la cara posterior del muslo izquierdo #Atleti— Atlético de Madrid (@Atleti) February 3, 2014
The blow comes just as Villa, 31, was looking as sharp as he has all season, with goals in his last three La Liga appearances, taking him to eleven in all in the league so far this term.
Atletico coach Diego Simeone could call on attacker Adrian Lopez to fill the gap, but is more likely to reshuffle and bring in attacking midfielder Raul Garcia, who has also been in good goalscoring form lately.
Diego Ribas, who scored on Sunday just 48 hours after completing a return to Los Colchoneros on loan from Wolfsburg, is another option.
Simeone’s side are at Madrid’s Estadio Santiago Bernabeu for the Copa semifinal first leg on Wednesday evening, with the return at their Calderon ground a week later.