REAL MADRID

Real Madrid: Eden Hazard has sights set on returning for the Madrid derby

The Belgian has been progressing well and returned to work with the ball on Thursday. His objective is to return for Atlético's visit to the Bernabéu on 1 February.

Hazard mira al derbi.

There was positive news in the Real Madrid camp on Thursday - following 58 days recovering from an ankle injury, Eden Hazard was back working with the ball in Valdebebas - still apart from the main group but it was an encouraging sight for Zidane nevertheless. Hazard seemed optimistic about his return last week and has told those within his close circle that he is feeling much better.

Just having the ball at his feet again for the first time in almost two months will be a massive boost for the Belgian. The player was on the end of a clumsy challenge from Thomas Meunier during the Champions League meeting with PSG on 26 November. In the subsequent 58 days, the player has worked non-stop with the club medical team to ensure his physical form didn't decline while his ankle healed 

Real Madrid's key dates: Atlético and Manchester City

Hazard has been training inside the gym at Valdebebas and putting in extra hours of his own accord to get back to full fitness as quickly as possible. The plan from now onwards, is to continue building up ballwork sessions then eventually return to full training with the squad. The next step after that will be returning to action with the first team.

Hazard has his sights set on two key games - the Madrid derby at the Bernabéu on 1 February and the first leg of the Champions League Last 16 tie against Manchester City on 26 February. Against Atleti, he hopes to be given a run-out - possibly coming on for the last 10 minutes. As for Guardiola's visit to the capital at the end of the month, Hazard hopes to be back match-fit and firing on all cylinders. The City game is one that no one wants to miss.