Mahamadou Diarra has returned to Real Madrid from African Cup of Nations duty with a knee injury.
The midfielder only reconvened with his domestic team-mates in the Spanish capital on Thursday, but is already set for a spell on the sidelines.
The 28-year-old sustained a knock to his right knee while away on international duty with Mali and is expected to be out of action for 15 days.
He was unable to help his country progress out of the group stages in Angola and will now be prevented from helping Real mount an assault on the Primera Liga title.
Should the timescale put on his recovery prove correct, Diarra will sit out fixtures against Malaga and Deportivo La Coruna.
He could come back into contention for Real's home date with Espanyol on 7th February.