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REAL MADRID

Real Madrid team news: Vinicius not ready for Bilbao return, Kroos doubtful

Vinicius, Courtois, Ramos and Mariano will remain unavailable to Zidane, while Toni Kroos is also a doubt for Sunday's game against Athletic Bilbao.

Vinicius will not be available to play against Athletic Bilbao on Sunday, after initial optimistic forecasts earlier this week had concluded he would make his return for the game.

The 18-year-old has been side-lined for more than six weeks because of an ankle injury picked up against Ajax in the 4-1 defeat in the Champions League on 3 March.

After having made a quick recovery with the help of former Santos physio, Thiago Lobo, Vinicius has been doing some ball work drills on the grass at Madrid’s Valdebebas training ground but did not return to work with his team mates on Thursday, as had been previously forecasted.

While the Brazilian attacker is eager to get back to action in order to get himself ready for the upcoming Copa de America with Brazil, Madrid do not rush him back to action. But the club are optimistic he will be available for the trip to neighbours Getafe on Thursday, 25 April.

Kroos doubtful; Courtois, Ramos, Mariano out

It has also emerged that goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois will also miss Sunday’s game against Athletic, as the Belgian keeper is yet to fully recover from an injury that has kept him out of Los Blancos' last four LaLiga games. That means Costa Rican Keylor Navas will likely continue between the posts for Zidane, who also has his son Luca available to play in goal.

The other big news from Friday’s training session was the absence of Toni Kroos. The German stayed indoors at the Valdebebas training facility and at the moment the club has not provided information on his situation. Kroos missed last week’s game against Leganés due to gastroenteritis.

Next to Kroos in the gym was Sergio Ramos, who is continuing with his recovery from a calf injury that will also keep him out on Sunday.

Meanwhile, as reported by AS yesterday, Mariano Diaz has been hit with another injury setback after being diagnosed with tendonitis in his right adductor. The Spanish-Domincan has been restricted to just 11 LaLiga appearances – with only one coming as a starter – and is expected to be out for around three weeks, though Madrid have not put a timescale on his latest absence.