Madrid, Spain (SportsNetwork.com) – Real Madrid revealed on Monday that the
club has left striker Karim Benzema off the squad for Tuesday’s Champions
League semifinal first leg at Juventus because of a knee injury.
Benzema injured ligaments in his right knee in last month’s Champions League
quarterfinal clash with Atletico Madrid. And although the Frenchman has been
able to return to training ahead of Tuesday’s match, manager Carlo Ancelotti
has left him out of the side that will travel to Italy.
The 27-year-old is second on the team with 15 goals in 28 league matches, but
the decision not to risk Benzema was made easier for Ancelotti by the return
to fitness of Gareth Bale.
A calf injury kept Bale on the sidelines for the past two weeks, but the
Welshman was able to feature in Saturday’s 3-2 win over Sevilla as a
substitute, bolstering Madrid’s attacking options.
In addition to Benzema, midfielder Luka Modric also remains out with a knee
injury and will not feature on Tuesday.