Julen Lopetegui's desire for a forward signing in the summer saw Mariano Diaz return to Real Madrid, yet the homecoming hasn't yet gone completely to plan with Mariano left devastated by his latest muscle injury.
LaLiga Santander appearances have been hard to come by for the former Lyon goal-scorer, even though he caught the eye with a stunning strike from distance against Roma in the Champions League.
Despite being given the honour of taking Cristiano Ronaldo's number seven shirt, Mariano hasn't been a regular starter for either Lopetegui or Santiago Solari.
He was handed an opportunity against Melilla but was left distraught at just how it played out.
A goalless 80 minutes against a lower division team was hardly the best audition for a regular starting place, and with just 10 minutes to play he signalled to the bench that he had to come off the pitch.
A muscular injury in his right thigh stopped him finishing the match, and Los Blancos were thus forced to finish the routine victory with just 10 men due to the fact all three substitutes had already been made.
Mariano worked hard throughout the time he was on the pitch, but he barely had a clear chance to score for himself.
He wanted the ball regularly but it was Vinicius Junior who grabbed his chance with both hands in front of an expectant Estadio Santiago Bernabeu crowd, scoring his first senior home goal for Los Merengues.
Having already missed four matches between October and November courtesy of a previous muscular ailment, the 25-year-old was visibly distressed by the potential consequences of this latest setback.
Should the issue be a little more serious than a mere strain, there is every chance he will be unable to compete in Los Blancos' Club World Cup campaign which begins on Wednesday, December 19.