MADRID (AP) – Atletico Madrid's slim hopes of catching Spanish leader Barcelona were dealt a blow Sunday when striker Radamel Falcao sustained a leg injury that will sideline the team's top scorer for around three weeks.
Falcao came up lame while sprinting for a ball and immediately asked to be substituted in the 57th minute of Atletico's 2-0 win over Levante. He walked off clutching the upper part of his left leg.
Atletico coach Diego Simeone said the Colombia striker will be out ''around 20 days.''
''We don't know exactly what he has, but he is hurt. He will rest and that will serve him well,'' Simeone said. ''Falcao will be a great reinforcement for us when he comes back.''
Falcao leads Atletico with 18 goals in the league.
Atletico is in second place, eight points behind Barcelona just past the season's midway point.
Atletico plays Real Betis on Thursday in the Copa del Rey. It then faces Athletic Bilbao and Betis in the league over the next two weekends.
Adrian Lopez, who scored Atletico's opener on Sunday, could replace Falcao up front alongside Diego Costa.