Real Madrid are reportedly set to be without Eden Hazard this weekend for the derby against Atletico Madrid as he continues to recover from an injury.
The 29-year-old is currently sidelined with a foot issue, which in turn has led to him missing the last eight La Liga games.
That in turn has limited him to just one goal and four assists in 13 games for Los Blancos since his move last summer, as it has certainly been a campaign hugely disrupted by injury setbacks.
Real Madrid have coped well without him considering they are now three points clear at the top of the La Liga table, while they’ve already collected the Spanish Supercopa and remain in contention for the Copa del Rey and Champions League.
That said, given the quality and experience that Hazard possesses, his return to action will no doubt be a huge boost for all concerned.
According to AS though, it’s suggested that he will not be making his comeback against Atleti this weekend, as although he has made progress in his rehabilitation, he’s not yet considered to be fit enough to feature without the risk of suffering a setback.
With that in mind, it’s also suggested that the encounter with Manchester City in the Champions League next month, the first leg of which will be played on February 26 at the Bernabeu, could be the target for Hazard’s comeback game.
Given the importance of that clash and the tempo at which it will likely be played, it remains to be seen whether or not that’s a particularly sensible plan to throw Hazard right back into the mix. With games against Celta Vigo and Levante preceding it, it might be a wise move to give him a chance to get minutes under his belt first.
Time will tell if that goes to plan, but for now the one apparent certainty is that Hazard will play no part this weekend.