The injured players rarely have a day off at any club so despite the snowfall in Madrid at the beginning of the week it will probably have been business as usual for Dani Ceballos, Jesús Vallejo and others using the medical services.
Of the current first team squad, it’s Dani and Jesús who are the two main injured players at the moment now that Sergio Ramos and Karim Benzema have both returned to action. But rarely do the players having treatment get a day off.
Although Zinedine Zidane has been criticised in some quarters for giving the rest of the squad an unplanned break at the beginning of the week, this wouldn’t necessarily have affected the injured players as well.
Being injured is a seven days a week job. The moment somebody reports an injury to the medical staff they know they’re going to be in on a daily basis until fully fit.
While the players in the main squad will do the occasional double session, these are usually the normal for anyone injured. When a player is on the injured list and undergoing treatment and rehabilitation the tendency is actually for them to work longer and harder on a daily basis than those who are fully fit!
Hands-on treatment from the medical staff is complemented by exercise therapy from the rehabilitators; and the fitness staff get involved as well.
So when you’re doing this on a long-term basis it can become quite a grind, and that’s where the dedication and self-discipline come in.
There’s been quite a bit of talk recently about the Real Madrid players having a day off earlier in the week, but sometimes that’s the right thing to do.
Tomás Roncero was particularly critical of Zidane’s decision to opt for giving the players an additional break; but I’m sure that the coach will have had his reasons.
The snow would have made life difficult and training outdoors could potentially have been a high risk factor for injury but hammering people in the gym doesn’t always help either.
It’s a no-win situation at times like this. If Zidane had insisted that everyone reported for a session and Luka Modrić for example turned his ankle or Karim Benzema overstretched his groin on a slippery surface then people would have had a lot to say about it; and rightly so.
Remember the comments about Antonio Pintus’ session on the steps of the Bernabéu a few weeks ago?
I know Tomás Roncero is fiercely passionate about Real Madrid but so too is Zinedine Zidane; and the thing that makes football so appealing is that it’s all about expressing healthy opinions.
The fact that other clubs trained doesn’t really concern Real Madrid since Zidane is only going to be interested in what happens under his own roof.
I can definitely see Tomás’ point though. When results go against you the first thing that supporters look for is for everyone to be doing their bit to put things right.
As he rightly stated, schools were open on Monday and many supporters of Real Madrid - and of other clubs as well - still had to go to work as usual despite the adverse weather conditions.
Yet I’m sure that’s something that will be acknowledged in particular from locally-born players like Nacho, Marcos Llorente and Dani Carvajal who appreciate and understand the situation; not that the others don’t of course. Sergio Ramos is always among the first to acknowledge the support from the stands.
However, training always needs to have a purpose and after weighing up the conditions Zidane and the rest of the staff probably felt that the justification for bringing everyone in just wasn’t there at the time.
It seems that Keylor Navas and Lucas Vázquez did train on Monday though! It’s a fact that at any club there are always one of two players who just can’t stay away irrespective of whether the rest of the team are in or not.
It looks as though both Lucas and Keylor fall into this category!
Under normal circumstances the injured players wouldn’t have a choice over coming in or not.
Although I can’t say for certain if the injured group were in on Monday, I would expect that they were; or the majority of them at least.
Usually if you’re injured you are desperate to get back into the team again and more often than not it’s the injured players who are the ones kicking off if the sessions are cancelled!
I could be wrong of course, but if they weren’t, then having the odd day off isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
When you’re going through a difficult period with injuries like Jesús Vallejo is at the moment, it can actually be pretty soul destroying going through seemingly endless gymnasium sessions and repeated exercise programmes day after day.
No matter how much the rehab and fitness staff try to keep freshening things up, it still comes down to doing the basics over and over again and when you think about it, that applies to the fully fit players in normal training as well.
Anyway, we’ve now moved on from the situation earlier in the week and into a vitally important period with two massive games ahead.
The visit of Real Sociedad to the Bernabéu on Saturday is important to everyone in terms of getting back on track with the league programme; and the PSG match speaks for itself.
So irrespective of the weather over the next few days, I don’t think there’ll be much time off for Zidane and the squad between now and Wednesday!