​Real Madrid midfielder James Rodríguez has effectively been ruled out for the remainder of 2019 after picking up a fresh knee injury while on international duty.

The Colombian has been absent for several weeks as he battled various fitness issues, but was deemed healthy enough to join up with his international side. 

However, he picked up a knee injury during training and was forced to return to ​Real, who took to their ​official website to confirm that Rodríguez had sprained ligaments in his left knee.

The club declined to give an estimated return date for the midfielder, but ​Marca claim that he will likely miss at least three weeks of action and will almost certainly not be fully fit in time to face Athletic Club in Real's final game of the year on 22 December.

As a result of the injury, Rodríguez will also miss ​Champions League ties against both Paris Saint-Germain and Club Brugge, while he will also miss the meeting with ​Barcelona, which was rescheduled to 18 December.

James Rodriguez

This latest issue is the third injury which Rodríguez has battled this season already, having been restricted to just four La Liga starts as a result of his fitness problems.

Fortunately for manager Zinedine Zidane, the vast majority of his midfielders are still fit, meaning he will have plenty of options to choose from as Real head into the hectic festive period, which will see them play six games in 22 days in December.

Zidane would certainly have preferred to have Rodríguez available to allow him to rotate his squad, but he is already used to being without the injury-prone Colombian.

Zinedine Zidane

Real have climbed to second in La Liga, behind leaders Barcelona only on goal difference, so December's El Clásico looks set to be a decisive fixture in the race for the title.

However, before then, Los Blancos will meet Real Sociedad, Alavés, Espanyol and Valencia, and they will have to do so without Rodríguez.

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