Tiago Mendes will miss the next four months after fracturing his tibia in Atletico Madrid’s 1-0 victory over Espanyol on Saturday
The veteran midfielder was stretchered off after he came off worse for wear when throwing himself into a tackle from behind on Marco Asensio, with Atleti President Enrique Cerezo confirming after the game that the player faced a lengthy spell out.
“I love [Tiago] very much as a player and person,” Coach Diego Simeone lamented.
“I’m sure he has already started counting down the days to his return.
“We send him all our energy and hope that he recovers soon.
“It’s great that all our players can come in and make an impact.
“Thomas responded well after many training sessions. It was good news.
“In Tiago’s position, we have Saul and Thomas, [the latter of] whom made his debut [on Saturday].
“[Matias] Kranevitter will also arrive in January to help out.
“It’s important that all the lads in the squad feel important when they come in to play because it benefits the team.
“[On Antoine Griezmann, who scored an early winner], he’s improving and in form. His ceiling will define the ambition he has.”