Real Madrid: James training outdoors and nearing return

The Colombian was seen out in the sunshine in Valdebebas and completed several laps of the pitch as he enters the final stage of his recovery.

Real Madrid: James training outdoors and nearing return

James Rodríguez was seen training outside in Valdebebas yesterday - the first time he has been able to work outsuide of the gym since picking up and injury whilst on duty with the Colombia national team. James suffered a sprain to the internal ligament in his left knee during a training session with Colombia on 14 November.

The initial diagnosis predicted that James would be sidelined for around a month and a half, but the midfielder is already way ahead of schedule and now into the final stage of his recovery programme. He will continue to exercise out on the practice pitches at Real Madrid City - gradually working his way towards his return to full training with the squad. The Colombian started the season well enough but began to fade just before his knee injury.

James on the ball in the derby

James' strong start to the season

He did however, manage to convince Zidane that he deserves a place in the side - firstly with the attitude he showed over the pre-season and his strong start to the campaign. James featured in the starting line-up in four of the first six games of the season. But a series of niggling injuries has hampered his progress. So far, he has racked up 422 minutes of playing time with Madrid (23.4% of the total possible), in which he has scored one and created another for the team.