We are about to discover the true extent of Atletico Madrid’s grit in their challenge for La Liga glory.
Los Rojiblancos have relied upon the prowess of their Colombian goal machine, Radamel Falcao, to fire them into second place on the log, eight points behind leaders Barcelona.
But Falcao injured his hamstring muscle during Atleti’s gap-narrowing win over Levante on Sunday.
And manager Diego Simeone has confirmed the ‘El Tigre’ will now be absent for as long as three weeks.
"We don't know exactly what he has, but he is hurt. He will rest and that will serve him well,'' Simeone said on Sunday night.
"Falcao will be a great reinforcement for us when he comes back.”
The striker is likely to miss Atleti’s Copa del Rey match against Real Betis this week, and their next two La Liga clashes, against Athletic Bilbao and Betis respectively.
It will be interesting to see if Atleti will be able to remain in Barca’s rear-view mirror without their talismanic striker, of if they will be able to fend off their resurgent neighbours, champions Real Madrid.