Cristiano Ronaldo, who has 27 goals in 26 La Liga matches, is set to miss his a league match for the first time this season, the ankle injury he suffered Thursday against Málaga putting him out for 10 to 14 days. If Ronaldo is sidelined for the far end of that prognosis, he will miss matches against Racing Santander, Hércules, and (most importantly) Lyon in Champions League.
While Ronaldo left in the 77th minute on Thursday, he technically played 90 minutes, Real Madrid having already used all their substitutions. If he misses any time this weekend at Racing, it will be the first action he's missed in the 2010-11 Primera Division campaign. The next most-used out-field player for José Mourinho is left back Marcelo, the Brazilian having played 270 fewer minutes. Only two other out-field players have accumulated 2000 minutes (Ricardo Carvalho, Xavi Alonso).
In his absence, it would be natural to bring Kaká back into the team, an inclusion which could make-or-break the Brazilian's time at Madrid. The former World Player of the Year has not been able to find a place in the team since his mid-winter return from injury, with the general consensus holding the attacker may have lost a step. Now, Kaká could be given his chance, and while he won't be expected to replicate the outlay, he will be expected to keep Los Merengues on track.
But even with the likes of Kaká in reserve, the idea of losing Ronaldo for Lyon brings another Round of 16 lost slightly closer to reality. While Madrid was able to get a good result at Stade Gerland in leg one, it's not difficult to imagine Lyon reproducing last year's Santiago Bernabeu performance, particularly if Los Blancos are without their biggest threat.