Real Madrid injuries grow as Carvajal out for month - sources

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Real Madrid defender Dani Carvajal is expected to be out of action for a month, sources have told ESPN, after picking up a calf injury in Saturday's 2-0 win over Granada.

Spain international Carvajal, who has been in career-best form this season, making 17 appearances for Madrid in all competitions, was substituted at halftime in the LaLiga game at the Bernabeu, and replaced by Lucas Vázquez.

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The right-back is the latest player to join Madrid's long injury list, which already included Thibaut Courtois, Éder Militão, Aurélien Tchouaméni, Eduardo Camavinga, Luka Modric, Arda Güler and Vinícius Júnior.

"After tests carried out by Real Madrid Medical Services on our player Dani Carvajal, he has been diagnosed with an injury in the soleus muscle of his left leg," Madrid said in a statement on Monday.

Sources told ESPN the club are hopeful that Carvajal will be available for the Spanish Supercopa, with Madrid due to face Atlético Madrid in the semifinals on Jan. 10.

Despite their injuries, Madrid are top of LaLiga after 15 games -- level on 38 points with second-placed Girona -- and have qualified for the Champions League round of 16 as group winners.

After the Granada game, coach Carlo Ancelotti said he hoped Carvajal's injury "wasn't serious" but that the player would be assessed by medical staff.

Last week, Carvajal spoke out against the congested fixture list that top players face, saying many would be open to taking a pay cut if it meant playing fewer games and avoiding injuries.

"There are lots of injuries, and I think a lot of them are due to the calendar," Carvajal told a news conference on Nov. 28.

"A lot of people say 'why don't [players] cut their salaries?' We haven't said we wouldn't. If we had to earn less and play fewer games, it wouldn't be a problem. You don't see players at their best, and the games are dropping in quality."

"It's a calendar that can't continue," Ancelotti said last month.

"Those who prepare the calendar have to look at it. We have this problem, and it will get worse. The solution is straightforward. Reduce the number of games. The coaches and the players can't do it. LaLiga, UEFA and FIFA can. But we have more Champions League games, more World Cup games. Until it's sorted out, I think we'll have even more problems."