Zinedine Zidane is not sure if Eden Hazard will play for Real Madrid again this season.
The former Chelsea playmaker is facing another lay-off after fracturing an ankle in Real’s surprise defeat to Levante in LaLiga last weekend.
It was only the Belgian’s second appearance since November after recovering from another injury to the same ankle.
The loss of the 29-year-old, who is yet to make his mark since his £89million move from Stamford Bridge last summer, is a big blow to Zidane at the start of a crucial week.
Real host Manchester City on Wednesday in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie before facing arch-rivals Barcelona, who leapfrogged them to top spot in LaLiga last weekend, on Sunday.
Speaking at a press conference, Zidane said: “He loves playing football and while I can’t tell you what is in his eyes, I can see he is not happy.
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“It’s important he stays positive but, of course, it’s difficult. It’s a bad moment, it won’t be easy and he will feel like that for a while.
“I do not know if he will have to go through an operation. It is not my area and I don’t know if his season is over, but I hope not.”
Zidane would not comment on suggestions Hazard’s rehabilitation from his previous injury was not handled correctly.
“I am not the right person to say what should have been done or shouldn’t have,” said the Frenchman. “They are professionals and very capable in their area.
“We are not happy about Hazard’s injury, it comes at a bad moment. He wanted to play and help us but now he is out again, which is sad of course.
“I hope when he’s back again he is completely fit. That’s what everyone wants and that’s it.”