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Rib injury forces Iker Casillas off early in Champions League tie

Sep 17, 2013, 3:12 PM EDT

Real Madrid CF Training Session and Press Conference Getty Images

It’s heartbreak for Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas as he is forced to take an early shower just as he got his chance to prove himself to Carlo Ancelotti.

In just the opening minutes of their first Champions League group stage match, Casillas went up for a save and took an elbow to the ribs from his own teammate, Sergio Ramos. The two both went up for the ball and although Casillas collected, Ramos wasn’t able to get out of the way.

It was an awkward moment on the pitch, as Casillas at first appeared sure to come off and Diego Lopez suited up instantly. However, Casillas received on-field treatment and continued on. Unfortunately, as soon as he took his first goal kick, it became obvious there was too much pain for him to continue, and in the best interest of the team and his health he came off, replaced by Lopez.

Rib injuries can be extremely painful, especially if the muscles and soft tissue between rib bones are involved.  It’s something that would absolutely hinder a goalkeeper in stretching out and making tough saves, let alone getting all his power behind kicks.

With the Madrid manager declaring Casillas his Champions League keeper and Diego Lopez the man for La Liga, it was the first serious first-team opportunity for Iker to again prove himself since he lost his place under Jose Mourinho.

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