Real Madrid has confirmed that Austrian international defender David Alaba has torn the cruciate knee ligament in his left knee, reported Xinhua.
The left-sided central defender needs an operation in the coming days and that means he will not only miss the rest of the season, but also be unable to captain Austria in next summer's European Championships.
The injury came in the first half of Real Madrid's 4-1 home win over Villarreal on Sunday night as he landed awkwardly after a challenge in the middle of the pitch.
Tests confirmed the extent of the defender's injury, which gives the club a defensive headache.
Alaba is the third Real Madrid player to suffer a torn cruciate knee ligament this season, along with goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois and Brazilian defender Eder Militao.
With both Militao and Alaba out, Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti has only Antonio Rudiger and Nacho Fernandez as central defenders in his first team squad and the club will have to consider signing another defender in the January transfer window.
Ancelotti has another injury worry for Thursday's visit to Deportivo Alaves, with left back Fernand Mendy taken out of Sunday's game after complaining of a muscle problem in his right leg.
- Real Madrid