Real strike force depleted through injury

23 Oct 2009 - Real Madrid's injury woes mounted on Friday with news that two more top strikers -- Frenchman Karim Benzema and Argentina's Gonzalo Higuain --are unavailable for the match against Gijon this weekend.

Benzema is injured in both feet and Higuain has a muscle problem in his left leg, the club said.

Real is already without Portuguese winger Cristiano Ronaldo, who has a sprained ankle, and Dutch striker Ruud Van Nistelrooy, who has been sidelined for several weeks with a thigh muscle injury.

Coach Manuel Pellegrini has been forced to call up 21-year-old Paraguayan Javier Acuna from the reserves to support veteran captain Raul up front.