Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone believes his squad can cope with the loss of defender Diego Godin as they continue to battle for both domestic and European success.
Uruguay center-back Godin suffered what the club have labeled a “grade I-II” thigh muscle injury during the 1-0 win at Athletic Bilbao on Wednesday night.
The problem has ruled Godin out of Saturday’s La Liga home game with Malaga and he is also expected to miss the Champions League semi-final first leg against Bayern Munich on Wednesday.
Atletico trail Primera Liga leaders Barcelona on head-to-head results going into the final four matches of the domestic campaign, so even winning each of those may not be enough to secure the title.
Simeone feels the players have the strength of character needed to come through a testing run, even without the leadership of Godin in the backline.
“Without Godin we lose authority. He is a really important man within the group, but at the same we have players who are doing well, and (Jose Maria) Gimenez is back with us (after injury),” Simeone said at a press conference.
“We hope to have [Godin] back as soon as possible, and in the best way.
“For now there are other players who are doing very well.”
Simeone continued: “This campaign is better than the previous season by the number of points, but there remains much still to play for.
“At this point (of the campaign), all the rivals will make things difficult for us
“Talking about what might happen would not be good because we do not know where we will end this season.”