Soccer-Real Madrid injury nightmare continues as Mendy ruled out for season

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FILE PHOTO: Champions League - Round of 16 First Leg - Atalanta v Real Madrid

MADRID (Reuters) - Real Madrid's injury crisis dragged on when left back Ferland Mendy was on Tuesday ruled out for the rest of the season with a shin problem, leaving coach Zinedine Zidane without all four of his first choice defenders.

A medical report published by Real said the Frenchman, Real's first choice left back, had been diagnosed with shin splints.

The report did not state when he would return although newspaper AS said he would be out for three weeks, meaning he will miss Real's final three games in the La Liga title run-in.

Real have published a total of 27 medical reports this season on players who have sustained injuries or tested positive for COVID-19.

They missed the chance to go top of the standings when they drew 2-2 at home to Sevilla on Sunday and they trail leaders Atletico Madrid by two points after 35 games.

Real head to Granada on Thursday and in addition to the absent Mendy, Zidane will be without his two main centre backs Raphael Varane and Sergio Ramos plus first-choice right back Dani Carvajal. Second-choice right back Lucas Vazquez is also injured.

Varane could return for their last two games against Athletic Bilbao and Villarreal but the rest are expected to miss the rest of the season.

(Reporting by Richard Martin; Editing by Christian Radnedge)