Simeone gives Atletico team news update
Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone has confirmed that captain Koke will miss Wednesday’s Champions League round-of-16 match with Manchester United.
Los Colchoneros’ official website posted an update on Tuesday evening, stating the 30-year-old had picked up a thigh muscle injury during the 3-0 victory over Osasuna at the weekend.
The Spain international has racked up over 500 appearances for Atleti since making his debut 13 years ago and he was involved in their runs to the final of this competition in 2014 and 2016.
However, Simeone ruled him out of the 20:00 GMT kick-off at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium and it’s not yet clear whether he will be back for the return in Manchester in March.
Koke joins Matheus Cunha and Daniel Wass on the La Liga champions’ injury list, while winger Yannick Carrasco will miss both legs of the tie through suspension.
French World Cup winner Thomas Lemar is available once again, however, having recovered from coronavirus.
“Well, Lemar is coming back from COVID. Carrasco is suspended, Koke unfortunately is not going to be with us because he’s got an injury,” Simeone told reporters.
“We have many other players who are looking forward to playing, for this opportunity to show their ability. I’m excited about that.”
United will be without Edinson Cavani, as the Uruguayan is still suffering from the groin injury which has kept him out of recent games with Southampton, Brighton and Leeds.
Phil Jones has been added to the Champions League squad, after making his long-awaited return from a knee injury last month.