Real Madrid rocked by Kroos blow as World Cup winner must isolate ahead of crunch clash with Athletic Club

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Real Madrid's preparations for a crucial clash with Athletic Club on Sunday have been rocked by the news that Toni Kroos must take in a period of self-isolation.

The German midfielder has come into contact with someone who has tested positive for Covid-19, meaning that he must now stay away from the Blancos' main group.

Kroos has not contracted coronavirus himself, but every precaution is being taken to help prevent any spread within Zinedine Zidane's squad.

What has been said?

A statement released on the club's official website reads: "Real Madrid CF reports that our player Toni Kroos is in isolation as he has been in direct contact with a person who has tested positive for Covid-19, although all the tests that have been carried out on the player have been negative."

The bigger picture

Zidane Barcelona Real Madrid Clasico 2021

Zidane would have been hoping to have all of those not nursing injuries available to him for a trip to Bilbao.

Victory in that fixture is imperative for Real in their ongoing efforts to successfully defend their La Liga title.

They sit second in the table at present, two points behind neighbours Atletico Madrid with two games left to take in.

Who is missing for Real?

While Zidane does have options to cover any absence for Kroos, he does find himself short on options in defence.

Untimely setbacks have become an all too familiar theme for Real in the 2020-21 campaign.

With so much still on the line, they are once again unable to call upon the services of talismanic captain Sergio Ramos as he nurses a hamstring problem.

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Ferland Mendy is also missing at left-back and faces a race against time to make France's squad for this summer's European Championship.

Lucas Vazquez is another to have seen his season brought to a close, with knee ligament damage keeping him on the sidelines, while Dani Carvajal is an experienced right-back option to have been ruled out of Zidane's plans.

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