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Diarra adds to Real's growing injury crisis

  • Story Highlights
  • Real Madrid's Mahamadou Diarra set to have operation on right knee problem
  • Reports suggest that Diarra would be sidelined until the end of current season
  • The Spanish champions are struggling in title defense with a growing injury list
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(CNN) -- Real Madrid's injury crisis deepened on Wednesday with reports that star midfielder Mahamadou Diarra could miss the rest of the season because of a right knee problem.

Diarra joins a growing injury list at reigning Primera Liga champions Real Madrid.

Leading sports daily Marca said X-rays had shown that the 27-year-old Mali international had aggravated an injury he picked up while playing for his national team in October.

The paper said he would likely undergo an arthroscopic examination to determine the extent of the injury next week.

Marca said Diarra could be out for up to six months, meaning he would miss the rest of the Spanish season.

A club spokeswoman told Associated Press that she could not comment on the report, adding there would be no details regarding the injuries of any of the team's players until doctors submit their weekly update on Saturday.

Diarra has already missed several games with a muscle problem, but his absence would further weaken a Real squad who have 11 players injured, including several leading internationals.

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A 3-1 defeat to Getafe on Saturday left Real six points behind leaders and arch-rivals Barcelona in search of a third straight Spanish Primera Liga title.

The Madrid giants signed Klaas-Jan Huntelaar from Ajax for an initial 20 million euros ($25.4 million) fee on Tuesday.

Huntelaar is seen as a replacement for fellow-Dutch striker Ruud van Nistelrooy, who is out for the rest of the season with a knee injury.

But the 25-year-old Huntelaar, who is to undergo a medical examination on Thursday, is himself recovering from a torn left ankle ligament, although he is expected to be fit by January.

Copyright 2008 CNN. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Associated Press contributed to this report.

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