Real Madrid face a troublesome autumn period, with Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and Theo Hernandez all being joined on the absent list by Dani Carvajal.
That’s because pericarditis will keep the Spanish defender out for a minimum of two months.
Such an ailment is incredibly difficult to treat, as the close proximity to the heart ensures that any medical aid has to be carefully thought through.
Carvajal cannot be rushed back to action and his recovery will be closely monitored, meaning it is unlikely he will play again before December, at the very earliest.
This is not an injury and instead this is a genuine health issue, so the long-term wellbeing of the person is of far more importance than his sporting readiness at this time.
It is an issue brought about by a viral infection, one which would likely clear up fully in a two or three week period for a regular member of the public.
For a professional athlete, it is not that simple and it would be an incredible risk to subject the former Bayer Leverkusen full-back’s heart to the rigours of high-intensity sport before it has completely recovered.
There is complete trust from Los Blancos in the medical team entrusted with looking after the 25-year-old, headed by Miko Mihic, with the team having formulated a care plan for the Spaniard.
A side issue is that during his lay-off, Carvajal cannot exercise.
He has to rest his heart and it is feared that this will prolong his absence, given the fact he will lose all match fitness and rhythm.
Consultations have been made to multiple different specialists, where this type of illness is concerned, as the LaLiga champions are leaving absolutely nothing to chance.
Having last played in the 3-1 victory over Borussia Dortmund, the defender hasn’t trained since Saturday and received frank medical advice that he should stop in order to avoid any sort of pericardial effusion.
Zinedine Zidane has had to alter his own plans as a result, as Carvajal had been his only mainstay this term, with the options at right-back limited after Danilo’s sale.
Achraf Hakimi took his place for the victory over Espanyol and he will be given the opportunity to continue in the Spanish international’s absence.