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REAL MADRID

Zidane expecting Pepe to rejoin group on Tuesday

The defender has been out since the last week of January with plantar fasciitis. He remains doubtful for next week's Madrid derby.

Update:
Zidane expecting Pepe to rejoin group on Tuesday

Injured Real Madrid centre-back Pepe is beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

The defender has been out of action for three weeks with a foot problem, his most recent first-team appearance coming away at Real Betis in late January.

A week after their 1-1 draw at the Benito Villamarín, Los Blancos released a medical report confirming that he was suffering from "plantar fascia discomfort", with no timeframe specified for his comeback.

But in Saturday's press conference ahead of Real's La Liga clash at Málaga this weekend, boss Zinedine Zidane offered an update on Pepe's fitness: "He's in good spirits. The issue he has takes time... He's much better."

And Zidane continued: "The plan is for him to continue with what he needs to do in the coming days, and from Tuesday he'll be back with the group".

With the 32-year-old still out and Raphael Varane suspended for Sunday's trip to Andalusia, Sergio Ramos and Nacho Fernández are set to start in central defence at La Rosaleda.

But despite Pepe's expected return to first-team training, the awkward nature of his injury means that he remains a doubt for next Saturday's Madrid derby with Atlético.

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