Birthday boy suffers break
By Lucas Brown
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Pablo Zabaleta has been ruled out for up to two months with a broken collarbone.
Espanyol's Pablo Zabaleta has been ruled out for up to two months after breaking his collarbone during training on his 22nd birthday.
The Argentinian midfielder may need an operation to repair the injury and is set to miss between six and eight weeks as he recovers.
A regular in Ernesto Valverde's side this term, Zabaleta will be missed by Espanyol over the next seven league games and their Uefa Cup tie against Livorno next month.
Doctors are set to run more tests on the break that occurred in a training ground collision with goalkeeper Horka Iraizoz and David Garcia.
Zabaleta missed the derby victory against Barcelona through suspension, and will be sidelined for the games against Gimnastic, Real Zaragoza, Celta Vigo, Real Mallorca, Osasuna, Villarreal and Racing Santander in the league.
The injury to Zabaleta has put Sergio Sanchez's loan move to Real Madrid Castilla on hold.
A verbal agreement had been struck between Espanyol and the Madrid B team, who play in the second division, but the deal has now been called off.
"Madrid understood perfectly," explained Espanyol's sporting director, Paco Herrera. "They realised it was a force majeure."