Real Madrid have suffered an early blow to their 2019/20 LaLiga title hopes after it emerged that one of their star players could miss the entire season due to injury.
On Tuesday, Los Blancos opened their pre-season campaign with a penalty shootout win over Arsenal, but the match was marred by a potentially serious injury to one of the club's key players.
Shortly after scoring his side's equalising goal, Marco Asensio had to be stretchered off after suffering an apparent knee injury, which Real manager Zinedine Zidane confessed looked so bad that he "couldn't watch".
The French tactician's concerns have been validated after the club confirmed, via its website, that the Spanish midfielder had ruptured the ligament in his left knee and would be undergoing surgery in the coming days.
"After tests performed on our player Marco Asensio by the Real Madrid Medical Services, he has been diagnosed with a rupture of the anterior cruciate ligament and the external meniscus of his left knee. The player will be surgically operated in the next few days," an official statement read.
Following the confirmation of the extent of his injury, Asensio is expected to miss the entire 2019/20 campaign as the ordinary recovery time for such injuries is between eight and nine months.
It remains to be seen whether or not the Spain international's prolonged absence will have any impact on the futures of Gareth Bale and Dani Ceballos, who have both been linked with a move away from Real.
Asensio joined Los Blancos in 2015, and has since scored 27 goals in 135 appearances for the club.
Should Real keep Bale following Asensio's injury? Let us have your thoughts by commenting below.