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Luis Suárez set to miss multiple weeks

The injury comes at the worst possible time for the league leaders.

Sevilla FC v Atletico de Madrid - La Liga Santander Photo by Fran Santiago/Getty Images

Atlético Madrid’s long, slow, downward spiral in LaLiga continued over the weekend with a loss at Sevilla — and now, the team has lost its top goalscorer, potentially for the remainder of April.

Luis Suárez limped off Atlético’s training ground early on Wednesday, the club later confirming the 34-year-old has picked up a muscular injury to his left leg. Reports on social media have indicated that he will miss the next three weeks or so — though the well-connected Antonio Ruiz claims Suárez could be back sooner.

Suárez was suspended for this weekend’s game against Real Betis, but any amount of time the Uruguayan misses with the title race in full swing is a giant blow to the team. Atlético’s attack has become heavily reliant on Suárez’s goals since the calendar turned to 2021. Diego Costa’s unexpected departure plus Moussa Dembélé’s struggles to adapt have led to Diego Simeone lifting any and all restrictions on his prized number nine.

Atletico de Madrid v Deportivo Alavés - La Liga Santander Photo by Jose Breton/Pics Action/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Suárez has played a full 90 minutes in 12 of his 17 appearances since Jan. 3 — he played all 90 just twice in his first 15 outings as a rojiblanco. While Suárez has only three goals from the past 11 games, two held up as game-winners, and his 19 total strikes are second only to Barcelona’s Lionel Messi on the scoring chart.

Already out for Betis away on Sunday, we can add home fixtures against Eibar and Huesca to the ledger of games Suárez is expected to miss, along with Athletic Club away on April 25. Atlético travel to the Martínez Valero to play Elche on May 2 before meeting Barcelona at Camp Nou on May 9. Suárez missed the first meeting against his old team in November due to a positive COVID-19 test, and surely will do everything possible to be available for the rematch. AS is reporting that ideally, Suárez will return in time for the Elche game.

Atlético enter this weekend’s action with a one-point lead over Barcelona and a three-point lead over reigning champions Real Madrid. Barça and Madrid play a highly-consequential Clásico on Saturday night, which could result in either side provisionally taking over first place. Atleti have been top of LaLiga since December.