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Karim Benzema is still not training with the team

The Frenchman’s place for the Athletic game is still questionable

Real Madrid CF v Elche CF - La Liga Santander Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Real Madrid held their second training session of the week this morning at Valdebebas as Carlo Ancelotti’s men prepare for their return to football on Thursday — a Copa del Rey quarter-final showdown vs Athletic Club.

The session included possession, pressing, and passing drills, and concluded with scrimmages on reduced playing field as well as crossing and shooting exercises.

Of course, those that are currently out on international break — Vinicius Jr, Casemiro, Rodrygo Goes, Fede Valverde — did not feature in the training today. In addition, Mariano Diaz and Karim Benzema worked out on their own both inside and outside, while Ferland Mendy trained exclusively indoors by himself as he is still in the early stages of his recovery work.

We already know that Mendy the next few games at the very least. Even more concerning for the game on Thursday is the situation of Karim Benzema, whose place is still questionable.

Benzema, who left the field against Elche injured, is nursing a muscle injury. The club is optimistic that it’s not a serious injury, and it’s possible that he may even be available against Athletic — but they may not risk it even still. The schedule is about to get really difficult and we’re approaching a very important stretch of the season. What’s most important is having Benzema available long term.