Real Madrid: Hazard a doubt for Atlético derby return

Two months after being injured against PSG the Belgian is back in training but according to reports in Belgium will likely not be ready for the Madrid derby.

Real Madrid: Hazard a doubt for Atlético derby return

Real Madrid forward Eden Hazard is unlikely to be fit in time for the Madrid derby against Atlético on February 1 as he is still suffering discomfort in his knee after being injured in a challenge with PSG midfielder Thomas Meunier in the Champions League two months ago.

Hazard has returned to training with Zinedine Zidane’s side but is still not 100 percent ready to play, according to a report in Belgian news outlet Le Derniere Heure. The Belgium international has missed 12 matches over the past 60 days and although he has been working with the ball at Valdebebas he will not be rushed back into action in what could prove a pivotal game in the title race against Diego Simeone’s misfiring Atlético side after Barça were beaten at Mestalla on Saturday.

Zidane will not rush Hazard back into action against Atlético

Zidane traditionally adopts a cautious approach to injuries and is eager to ensure Hazard is fully fit for the business end of the season with the Champions League tie against Manchester City foremost in his mind. The opening leg of the encounter with Pep Guardiola’s Premier League champions is on February 26.

Ahead of Real’s trip to Valladolid on Sunday, Zidane said he was unsure when Hazard would be available: “I can’t say yet when his return will be, he has just started to touch the ball. His progress has been good, he no longer has pain. Starting from Monday, he will start working individually with the ball more. Little by little he will improve and I hope that he will return to the group soon”