Real Madrid secured a 2-1 victory over Sevilla on Wednesday but forward James Rodriguez faces a spell on the sidelines after suffering a foot injury.
James, who joined Real from Monaco in the summer, headed Los Blancos ahead after just 12 minutes at the Bernabeu but he had to be removed from the action during the first half with a broken metatarsal.
Real have announced the Colombian star will undergo surgery “in the coming hours” following the blow.
James’ replacement Jese Rodriguez scored Real’s second soon after his introduction, with Iago Aspas grabbing a late consolation for Sevilla.
The Spanish giants now have a four point lead at the top of the La Liga table following their win over Sevilla ahead of Saturday’s Madrid derby at the Vicente Calderon.
If Real manage to beat Atletico Madrid this weekend they will open up a 10 point lead over the defending champions with just 16 games to go in the Spanish top flight.
However, boss Carlo Ancelotti will definitely be without James for the trip to Atleti this weekend and he could be set to miss a number of key fixtures over the next few weeks.
James is likely to miss both legs of the Champions League last 16 tie with Schalke on February 18 and March 10, but he may be able to make a return in time for the trip to Barcelona on March 21 in what could be a key fixture in the battle for the La Liga title.
Real are 2.47 to take all three points when they travel to Atletico on Saturday, a win for the hosts is 2.81 and a draw is available at 3.23.