MADRID, April 8 (Xinhua) -- Real Madrid risk losing central defender Pepe until the end of the season as the result of an injury he suffered in the second half of his side's 1-1 draw at home to neighbors, Atletico Madrid on Saturday afternoon.
Pepe, who scored Real Madrid's goal in the 53rd minute, had to leave the pitch shortly afterwards after colliding with team-mate Tony Kroos and then replaced by Nacho Fernandez.
The 34-year-old was sent for tests afterwards and on Saturday evening Real Madrid posted a communique on their official website confirming he has broken his 7th and 8th ribs on his left side.
The club say the defender's return "depends on how the injury evolves," but with Pepe still to sign a new contract with the club, there is a real possibility he has played his last game for the club.
Meanwhile with Rafael Varene still suffering from a muscle injury, Nacho and Sergio Ramos are Madrid's only fit central defenders and will probably be so until the end of the month.