Atletico's Gimenez set to miss derby with Real and crunch Salzburg trip

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FILE PHOTO: Champions League - Quarter Final - RB Leipzig v Atletico Madrid

MADRID (Reuters) - Atletico Madrid's influential defender Jose Gimenez looks set to miss their upcoming derby against Real Madrid in La Liga as well as his side's Champions League decider against RB Salzburg after straining a thigh muscle.

The Uruguayan centre back was forced off in the second half of his side's 1-1 draw with Bayern Munich on Tuesday and Atletico released a statement confirming the injury, without saying for how long he would be out.

Spanish media reports said Gimenez could expect to return for the home game with Elche on Dec. 19, ruling him out of the league games against Valladolid on Saturday and Real Madrid the following week plus Wednesday's trip to Salzburg, where Atletico need a draw or win to reach the Champions League knockouts.

Atletico are second in the Spanish standings, one point behind leaders Real Sociedad but with two games in hand, while they are the only team in La Liga to remain unbeaten.

(Reporting by Richard Martin; Editing by Toby Davis)