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Casillas set to miss United clash

ESPN staff
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Iker Casillas heads down the tunnel after being substituted with an injury © Getty Images
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Keeper Iker Casillas is expected to miss Real Madrid's Champions League clash against Manchester United after fracturing a bone in his hand.

The Spain international was forced off after just 17 minutes following an accidental kick from team-mate Alvaro Arbeloa during Madrid's 1-1 Copa del Rey quarter-final second leg at Valencia on Wednesday.

Scans have confirmed that Casillas had broken his thumb and the keeper is now expected to be out for up to a month.

"After completing the first X-ray tests at the Hospital Sanitas La Moraleja it has been confirmed that the player Iker Casillas suffered a fracture at the base of his first metacarpal of his left hand," a club statement said. "It will be evaluated again later today by the specialist to decide the course of treatment."

Back-up keeper Antonio Adan is now certain to play in next week's semi-final first leg - against either Barcelona or Malaga at the Estadio Bernabeu - and likely to also feature at home to Manchester United in the Champions League round of 16 on February 13.

Casillas now faces a race against time to return for the Copa semi-final second leg in late February and the second leg against United at Old Trafford. The next La Liga meeting with Barcelona at the Bernabeu is in early March.

Before leaving the Mestalla on Wednesday night, Casillas had described the incident which led to the injury.

"There was a loose ball - Alvaro has gone to clear it and he has caught me on the hand," Casillas said. "After the knock I knew something was wrong. I am in a bit of pain. The doctor does not want to make any hasty judgements.

"He has seen something he does not like. When I tried to close my fist I felt that it hurt. It was just the thumb, and the fact that it has nothing to do with the wrist is good. I will try to be fit as soon as possible."

Speaking after the game, Madrid youth product Adan, 25, was not keen to dwell on his mistake in letting Tino Costa's free-kick slip under his body for Valencia's goal, instead saying he was up to whatever challenges he had to face.

"It was not an easy game, against a great opponent," Adan said. "If I am in the squad and play games, it is because the boss thinks that I am ready. If I have to play I am ready."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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