Benzema blow for Real Madrid but Benitez insists he is staying at Bernabeu
Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema risks missing the start of the season after being diagnosed with a thigh injury.
The 27-year-old France international, who is expected to stay at the Bernabeu despite ongoing speculation linking him to Arsenal, will undergo further evaluation on the muscular complaint.
Benzema's setback was announced in a statement on the Madrid club's official website.
Real's domestic campaign starts at Sporting Gijon on August 23, meaning Benzema has less than three weeks to recover if he is to feature in the curtain-raiser.
When asked if the former Lyon player could leave La Liga before the transfer deadline, head coach Rafael Benitez said: "My answer is that I think Benzema is going to stay with us."
Speaking ahead of Tuesday's Audi Cup clash against Tottenham in Munich, he added: "I'm very happy with him. There's no reason to think that he's going to go."