11 Dec 2019, 00:36 IST
Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane remains hopeful Eden Hazard will not have to undergo surgery on his fractured ankle.
Hazard was forced off late on against Paris Saint-Germain towards the end of November after receiving a bang to his ankle.
Early concerns appeared to be put to rest when Madrid’s medical team claimed the Belgian had only suffered bruising, but after needing crutches for longer than expected, he was sent for a second scan.
It was then that a small fracture was identified, essentially confirming he will not feature in El Clasico on December 18.
While there is no suggestion Hazard will be able to recover in time to face Barcelona, Zidane is at least hoping he will not require an operation.
“I don’t believe so [that Hazard will need surgery],” Zidane told reporters on Tuesday.
“But I don’t know exactly either. Yes, I can tell you that the injury he has is now controlled and I hope it [the time out] is less than expected.
— Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadriden) December 10, 2019
“There was talk of a week or two, but now the important thing for him is to be patient, because it is not a good time, but I hope he will return quickly with us.”
Madrid face Club Brugge in Belgium on Wednesday already knowing they will finish second in Champions League Group A.
As such, Zidane has taken the opportunity to rest some key players, with Toni Kroos and Sergio Ramos not in the travelling party, but Casemiro is with the team, suggesting the coach does not feel anyone else can do the Brazilian’s job.
“We know what Case [Casemiro] does, we’ve talked about this many times,” Zidane said. “He’s a player that plays many minutes.
“A coach always has to choose a call and think about the specific game. Then we will see the others.
“There are many players who have a lot of time [and travelled], like [Raphael] Varane, and you also have to consider the minutes they have with their selections.”
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