Real Madrid: Zidane could see James' injury coming

The Colombian was forcing it on international duty while Zidane wanted him to wait until he was fully recovered before training with the team again.

James Rodríguez, en Valdebebas.

James Rodíguez returned injured from international duty with Colombia earlier than planned. He completed two sessions under the orders of Carlos Queiroz, which reinforced the idea that Zidane had been unfair to him. But in the third session, James turned awkwardly and he suffered a strained knee ligament. In the best case scenario, he is out for a month. But he will miss the Clásico on 18 December.

Zidane could see it coming. Many were surprised to see James working out in the gym at Valdebebas for 10 days and not make the squad for the Eibar game. The Real Madrid website said he had trained alone and Zidane said he was not injured but not available for selection.

AS understands that during James' training alone, he went and asked Zidane if he could train with the rest of his teammates. The response was: "Better to wait until you're 100%. When you don't have any pain, then come back at full fitness."

James understood this to be another sign in the growing distance between them. Zidane said before the Eibar game: "They still haven't trained with the group and they can't play. Now, they'll go with their national teams and we'll see."

Zidane believed that James was forcing it a little bit too much in an effort to return to action. His last appearance came on October 22 and that was just 11 minutes in Istanbul. Zidane wanted to make sure he was completely recovered before introducing him back into the fold but now James has to start all over again.