Real Madrid striker Benzema ruled out for at least 3 weeks

Real Madrid are set to be without Karim Benzema for at least the next three weeks after he suffered a hamstring injury.

Benzema, who has scored 19 goals for Real this season, was taken off at half-time during the 1-0 defeat to Atletico Madrid on Saturday.

It was a result that saw Atletico close the gap on leaders Barcelona to five points, but Real's title aspirations are in tatters - they are nine points adrift of Barca, having played a game more.

The France international could miss La Liga matches against Levante, Celta Vigo, Las Palmas and Sevilla.

A Real Madrid statement said: "After tests, Karim Benzema has been diagnosed with a muscle injury to his right hamstring."

Madrid are hopeful the striker will be fit for the El Clasico against Barcelona on April 2.