MADRID - Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema has not recovered sufficiently from a knee injury and has been left out of the squad for Tuesday's Champions League semi-final first leg at Juventus, the holders said on Monday.
The France international sustained the injury in last month's quarter-final first leg at Atletico Madrid and although he only returned to training on Sunday, coach Carlo Ancelotti had expressed hope he would be fit.
Real's Mexico forward Javier Hernandez could start upfront in Turin alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale, who returned from a calf problem as a second-half substitute in Saturday's 3-2 La Liga win at Sevilla.
Another option would be for Ancelotti to switch to a 4-4-2 formation, with Hernandez dropping to the bench and Isco coming into the midfield alongside Toni Kroos, James Rodriguez and converted centre back Sergio Ramos.
Real are seeking a record-extending 11th European crown, while Italian champions Juve are chasing their third.