Madrid: Real Madrid defender Alvaro Arbeloa looks set to miss his side`s crucial La Liga clash with Barcelona on March 23 due to a cracked right kneecap.
The club confirmed the injury on Saturday morning without specifying how long they expect the Spanish international to be on the sidelines.
However, several Spanish media outlets reported that Arbeloa would miss the next three weeks.
Should that be the case, the former Liverpool man will be ruled out of La Liga matches against Levante, Malaga and Sevilla, on top of Barcelona`s visit to the Santiago Bernabeu, and the second leg of Real`s last 16 Champions League tie against Schalke.
"He hasn`t been able to train due to a problem with his knee," Real boss Carlo Ancelotti told a press conference ahead of his side`s game against Levante on Sunday.
"He has to rest for a few days, but it is bad news for us. Arbeloa is a very important player due to his personality and experience."