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REAL MADRID

Vinicius finally returns to group training

The Brazilian youngster has returned to training with the rest of his Real Madrid team mates and is expected to be ready for the Getafe game next Thursday.

Holy Friday is a special day in Spain. And it has also been a special day for Vinicius, who returned to training with his Real Madrid team mates 45 days after suffering an ankle injury against Ajax.

The 18-year-old Brazilian completed most of the session but will not be available for Sunday’s clash against Athletic Bilbao as previously reported. The club do not want to rush him back until he is 100-percent ready but, in principle, he could make his return to action for the away trip to Getafe on Thursday, 25 April.

The young attacker is anxious to get back playing in front of the Bernabéu crowd and make his debut under new-old coach Zinedine Zidane, posting “I miss playing at the Bernabéu” on his social media this Friday.

After receiving an initial forecasted return date for May, Vinicius has enjoyed an excellent recovery which has enabled him to be able to make his return earlier than was originally expected. At the beginning of April, the Río teenager hired Santos physio, Thiago Lobo, to help him with his rehabilitation and that decision seems to have paid off.

Kroos returns; Mariano, Ramos and Courtois still unavailable

Other positive news from Friday’s training session was the return of Toni Kroos. The German – who missed last week’s game against Leganés due to gastroenteritis and on Thursday stayed indoors at Madrid’s Valdebebas training facility – re-joined the group on Friday and will be available to Zidane to play against Athletic on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Mariano, who has been diagnosed with tendonitis, and goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, who has missed Madrid’s last four LaLiga fixtures through injury, worked separately on the grass and will not be available for selection tomorrow.

Neither will captain Sergio Ramos, who continued his recovery from a calf injury in the gym and has not returned to the grass. In other news, it has emerged that full back Alvaro Odriozola will miss the rest of the season after a collision with Vinicius at Friday's session.