Real to monitor Pepe fitness

Real Madrid are to monitor Pepe's fitness after the centre-back bruised his ribs against Atletico Madrid in the Copa del Rey.

Real Madrid will monitor the severity of the injury to centre-back Pepe after he bruised his ribs in Thursday's Copa del Rey clash with rivals Atletico Madrid.

The Portugal International was withdrawn in the 59th minute at the Santiago Bernabeu as the defending champions drew 2-2 on the night and exited the competition 4-2 on aggregate at the last-16 stage.

Pepe subsequently went to hospital for scans and Real are to keep a close eye on him. 

"Following tests carried out on Pepe by Real Madrid's medical services at the Hospital Sanitas La Moraleja, he has been diagnosed with bruised ribs," a statement on Madrid's website read. 

"His progress will be monitored."

Pepe's centre-back partner Sergio Ramos, meanwhile, has expressed his disappointment that Real were unable to turn around the tie after last week's 2-0 defeat at the Vicente Calderon.

The Spain international has now urged the team to focus their energies on Real's assault on the Liga title and their defence of the UEFA Champions League.

"We are sad to have been eliminated and because we wanted to respond in the best way possible for the fans, who were with us from the moment we arrived," he said.

"In the end, it wasn't to be. It is never pleasing to be eliminated, but there is nothing we can do. Now we want to recover and focus on the remaining competitions.

"Both we and the coach are proud of having given everything. I think we deserved more in the first half, as we created a lot of chances. 

"However, we can't take anything away from Atletico, they really know how to compete well as a team."