Zinedine Zidane says he is unsure if Eden Hazard will play for Real Madrid again this season.
The former Chelsea star is set for another injury lay-off after fracturing his ankle in the surprise La Liga defeat to Levante over the 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 really 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 La Liga last weekend, on Sunday.
"He loves playing football and while I can't tell you what is in his eyes, I can see he is not happy," admitted Zidane at a press conference on Tuesday.
"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."
The Champions League tie brings Zidane, who has guided Real to three victories in the competition, up against Pep Guardiola, a two-time winner with Barcelona.
Despite having one more success to his name, Zidane claims his opponent is the better coach.
He said: "He has shown that over the years, at Barca, Bayern (Munich) and now City. That's my opinion. Some people can think other coaches are better but for me, he is the best.
"But it is Madrid against City, not Zidane against Guardiola. It will be a great game. We always want to play games like this and we will do our best to come away with a good result."
City go into the game with a cloud hanging over them after they were banned from the competition for the next two years by European governing body UEFA over Financial Fair Play breaches.
Source: Read Full Article