Real Madrid's Pepe in hospital following Casillas collision

The Portuguese center back will remain under observation for the next 24 hours, after a clash of heads forced him from the field in Real's La Liga opener
Pepe has been taken to the hospital for observation after a collision with Real Madrid teammate Iker Casillas during the 1-1 draw with Valencia.

With the keeper attempting to clear a cross that led to Jonas' equalizing for Los Che, the duo came together and the impact left both men prone on the ground while the opposition celebrated.

Pepe was replaced by Raul Albiol at half -time and departed the Santiago Bernabeu for the hospital soon after. Real Madrid stated that initial test show there is no brain damage to the 29-year-old, but revealed he would stay overnight for observations.

Cristiano Ronaldo lent his support to his teammate, stating to the Press Association: "[Pepe] is in hospital and we'll see how he progresses. He is an important player for us but his health is the most important thing."

Iker Casillas offered his recollections of the event and also praised his counterpart in the Valencia goal for keeping the scores level until full time.

"I remember nothing of the play. Only that I went for the ball, and nothing else. It is a pity to concede goals from set pieces," he said to reporters after the game. "Let's see if what Pepe has is something. They've taken him to hospital because head injuries can be serious."

Gonzalo Higuain, who scored the opening goal of the night, echoed the sentiments of his teammates.

"It is a game we should have won because we had many chances, especially in the second half. Their goalkeeper was good. It is a shame, but it is not cause for alarm," he said.

It seems unlikely that the center back will be fit when Madrid face their arch rivals Barcelona in the first leg of the Spanish Super Cup at Camp Nou on Thursday night.

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