Injury worries are mounting for Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone, with Tiago Mendes, David Villa and Thibaut Courtois all sidelined with various problems.
Midfielder Tiago is out for four weeks with a knee injury suffered in Saturday’s 2-0 loss to Almeria, while goalkeeper Courtois and attacker Villa are serious doubts for Tuesday’s Copa del Rey semifinal second leg at home to Real Madrid.
Atletico slipped off the top of the Liga table after Saturday’s defeat at the Estadio de los Juegos Mediterraneos, with the game decided by a late mistake by reserve keeper Dani Aranzubia and a string of errors by referee Fernando Teixeira Vitienes.
With the score at 0-0, Vitienes missed a bad challenge on Tiago by Almeria winger Helder Barbosa, and the ex-Chelsea midfielder is now set for a month on the sidelines with a club statement saying their man had sprained ligaments in his knee at the very least.
“The Atletico midfielder was carried off on a stretcher at the Estadio de los Juegos Mediterraneos following a tackle from Barbosa,” the statement read. “The Atletico player came off in obvious pain. An initial scan found the Portuguese player had a grade two ligament sprain in his right knee joint. More tests are pending.”
Villa sprained a hamstring in the 4-0 La Liga win over Real Sociedad on Feb. 2, and will reportedly undergo tests to see if he can return for Tuesday’s Copa clash as Simeone is short of numbers up front, given Diego Costa is suspended after being booked in last week’s first leg at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu.
Courtois is also a major doubt for Tuesday’s game at the Estadio Vicente Calderon after he pulled out of the Almeria match with a back problem, having travelled to the Andalucian city with the squad.