Real Madrid will be without both Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale for their game against Espanyol on Sunday, Zinedine Zidane has confirmed.
Ronaldo has only just returned to action following a knee injury picked up in the final of Euro 2016 but has been sidelined through illness, while Bale has a knock.
Both players are, however, expected to be fit for Wednesday with Villarreal the visitors to the Bernabeu.
“Cristiano will not travel with us, he has a sore throat, and he will stay at home. He is not ready [for Espanyol tomorrow]," he told reporters.
"Bale had a strong knock on his hip and we will not take any chances. We have important players who can replace the ones injured.
"I want to have Gareth at 100% for very difficult game on Wednesday [against Villarreal]. Tomorrow he might get a bang in the same spot & be out for 10 days, or more."
One man who could profit from the duo's absence is James Rodriguez who set up Alvaro Morata's last-gasp winner against Sporting in midweek.
"James is training very well, he will play games," Zidane added. "Things have not changed. He is committed and wants to play.
"If Cristiano, Gareth and Karim [Benzema] are at 100 per cent, then they play. But that does not mean they must always play. We have many games.
"My idea is to always rotate, so that players think at any moment they will be called to play. They all need to play, that's my idea."
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