Madrid, Jan 21 (IANS) Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone has confirmed that the club will be without striker Radamel Falcao for around three weeks.
Falcao was forced out of his side's 2-0 win at home to Levante Sunday night with a muscle injury and Simeone confirmed that he has a problem with his lift thigh, reports Xinhua.
The coach confirmed that the injury will keep the Colombian, who has scored 18 goals in the La Liga this season, sidelined for between 20 to 25 days.
That means he will start by missing this week's Copa del Rey return leg away to Betis and next weekend's league match away to Athletic Club Bilbao, as well as a league game at home to Betis and a possible Copa del Rey semifinal.
Falcao's injury comes at a bad time for Atletico, who have a busy fixture schedule due to still having options in the Copa del Rey and the Europa League. Meanwhile Sunday's win has taken Simeone's side to within eight points of league leaders FC Barcelona, who surprisingly lost to Real Sociedad Saturday.
The good news for Atletico is that Simeone has able replacements in Adrian Lopez, who scored Atletico's first goal Sunday and Diego Costa, who replaced Falcao after his injury.
Simeone also tried to look on the bright side commenting that Falcao's injury would allow him to enjoy some much-needed rest.