BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Injury plagued Eden Hazard will in all likelihood miss out again for Belgium when they play three internationals in October after his club Real Madrid said he had suffered a new injury setback.
Real dashed hopes of Hazard returning to action in Wednesday’s La Liga game against Real Valladolid with a statement saying he sustained a muscle injury, leaving his participation with Belgium next week in doubt.
Madrid’s report came just hours after Belgium named the 29-year-old playmaker in their 33-man squad for the friendly against the Ivory Coast in Brussels on Oct. 8 and the Nations League games at England on Oct. 11 and Iceland on Oct. 14.
Belgium coach Roberto Martinez said Hazard would need to have played “some game time” for Real on Wednesday or in Sunday’s match at Levante in order to join up with his country’s squad for the trio of internationals.
But that was quickly dashed when Hazard injured a muscle in his right leg on Wednesday. Real did not say how long he would be out for, although Spanish newspaper Marca said he would be unable to play for between three and four weeks.
Hazard, who broke his ankle in February, missed out for Belgium last month when they began their Nations League campaign with a 2-0 win in Denmark and 5-1 home success over Iceland.
The Belgian football association is expected to confirm his withdrawal later.
Goalkeepers: Koen Casteels (VfL Wolfsburg), Thibaut Courtois (Real Madrid), Simon Mignolet (Club Brugge), Hendrik Van Crombrugge (Anderlecht)
Defenders: Toby Alderweireld (Tottenham Hotspur), Sebastiaan Bornauw (FC Cologne), Dedryck Boyata (Hertha Berlin), Timothy Castagne (Leicester City), Jason Denayer (Olympique Lyonnais), Leander Dendoncker (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Joris Kayembe (Charleroi), Brandon Mechele (Club Brugge), Thomas Meunier (Borussia Dortmund), Zinho Vanheusden (Standard Liege), Jan Vertonghen (Benfica)
Midfielders: Yannick Carrasco (Atletico Madrid), Nacer Chadli (Monaco), Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City), Eden Hazard (Real Madrid), Dennis Praet (Leicester City), Alexis Saelemaekers (AC Milan), Youri Tielemans (Leicester City), Leandro Trossard (Brighton & Hove Albion), Hans Vanaken (Club Brugge), Yari Verschaeren (Anderlecht), Axel Witsel (Borussia Dortmund)
Forwards: Michy Batshuayi, Christian Benteke (both Crystal Palace), Jeremy Doku (Anderlecht), Romelu Lukaku (Inter Milan), Dodi Lukebakio (Hertha Berlin), Dries Mertens (Napoli), Divock Origi (Liverpool).
Writing by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing by Christian Radnedge
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