Benzema Picks Up Knock, Second Spain Player Tests Positive for COVID

Karim Benzema is set to undergo further tests after bowing out early in yesterday’s warm-up against Bulgaria. The Real Madrid striker subbed off just before halftime following a hit above the knee. While the situation looked worrisome at first, an initial check-up indicated that the problem might not be too serious, Sky Sport reports. The forward is making his return to the national team after a long hiatus.

After the game, coach Didier Deschamps discussed the problem, talking up Olivier Giroud, their other option for the role. “Benzema picked up a knock on the vastus medialis, a muscle right over the knee. He felt it was tightening up, and we did not want to take any chance, so we replaced him. Giroud has never disappointed us. He hit the net twice late in the match; I did not want him to play too much today because he was in a peculiar physical and psychological form after the Champions League final. He has a strong personality; I surely can not complain. We need everybody to do well to perform up to our potential.”

The COVID situation within Spain is getting worse as Diego Llorente tested positive after Sergio Busquests. Luis Enrique added 12 players to the five that were already called up for the alternate camp, where they are preparing in case of late changes to the squad. The list features Kepa, Brahim Diaz, and Gonzalo Villar. Every modification is final as it is not allowed to reintegrate players once they shook off Coronavirus if they are removed from the roster.