Injured Albiol to miss start of season

MADRID - Real Madrid defender Raul Albiol has damaged ankle ligaments and will be sidelined for four to five weeks, the club said on its website on Wednesday.

The Spain international had a scan on his right ankle after picking up the injury in Real's 1-1 friendly draw against Standard Liege in Belgium on Tuesday.

Albiol's absence narrows new manager Jose Mourinho's options in the centre of defence for the start of the La Liga campaign away to Real Mallorca on August 28/29.

Ezequiel Garay and Pepe are also injured which leaves new arrival Ricardo Carvalho and right-back Sergio Ramos as a likely stand-in pairing at centre-back.

Real's next pre-season outing is at promoted Hercules on Sunday.

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