If you’re just waking up, you’ve woken to a real life nightmare: Major injury crisis at the Real Madrid camp.
After further tests on Eden Hazard, it was revealed today that the injury has turned out more serious than we thought yesterday, and the diagnosis is closer to what we feared when we saw him limp off the pitch against PSG. While after the match itself, the news was good, and the hope was that the Belgian would be back just in time for El Clasico, this morning’s check-up took a turn for the worse. Hazard is now due back sometime in January.
Following suit, Marcelo went down in training, injuring his calf in the process. He will also miss El Clasico.
Unfortunately, a third injury was also announced today: Gareth Bale has a thigh problem. Bale should be back for the game against Valencia, but will miss the next week or so (which, luckily, only involves games against Espanyol and Club Brugge).
The injuries make things difficult for rotations, with attackers who may have otherwise rested before the back-to-back games against Valencia and Barca, having to play a more prominent role now. Luckily Real Madrid has good depth, and hungry players behind Marcelo, Bale, and Hazard — but these situations are never ideal. James Rodriguez, Lucas Vazquez, and Marco Asensio are still nursing injuries too.
Today’s training at Valdebebas — the third of the week — saw Marcelo, Hazard, Asensio, James Rodriguez, and Lucas Vazquez focus on recovery. Bale trained indoors again. Zidane called up Diego Altube, Fran Garcia, and Francisco Feuillassier from Castilla to partake in the training with the A-team.
Real Madrid, again, focused on pressing and ball possession before breaking into scrimmage.
A random aside, the team had a fancy dinner last night at Filandon in Madrid, where everyone was present bar Toni Kroos and Karim Benzema. Shame on Gareth Bale, who decided to sit on the opposite side of the room from the Spanish contingent while he looks at the golf poster behind the cameraman instead of the actual lens: