Football: Varane out with thigh injury

Real Madrid's French defender Raphael Varane gestures during the Spanish league football match Sevilla FC vs Real Madrid CF at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan stadium in Sevilla on Jan 15, 2017.
Real Madrid's French defender Raphael Varane gestures during the Spanish league football match Sevilla FC vs Real Madrid CF at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan stadium in Sevilla on Jan 15, 2017. PHOTO: AFP

MADRID (REUTERS) - Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane is expected to miss the Champions League last-16 return leg at Napoli on March 7 because of a muscle injury.

The Spanish club said tests done on Friday showed that the France international has a "grade 2 injury" in his left thigh.

Varane was hurt during Real's 2-1 defeat at Valencia on Wednesday, the club's second loss in La Liga.

Real said Varane's "recovery will continue to be assessed," but he is likely to be sidelined for about three weeks.

Varane has started in 18 league games for Real and made seven Champions League starts. Real are one point clear of Barcelona at the top of La Liga with a game in hand and hold a 3-1 advantage over Napoli from the first leg.