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Real Madrid defender not ruled out of El Clasico despite not training with team today



Photo by Adam Nurkiewicz/Getty Images

The midweek UEFA Champions League encounter against Shakhtar Donetsk ensured Real Madrid’s progression to the knockout stages but came at a cost as Antonio Rudiger picked up a nasty facial injury.

The German international scored the 95th-minute equaliser for Los Blancos to earn the point that took them into the Round of 16.

However, he was involved in a collision with the Shakhtar goalkeeper while heading the goal, which left him with a deep cut close to his right eye. Rudiger needed as many as 21 stitches to close the gash.

Following the injury, the former Chelsea defender’s involvement in El Clasico has been cast into doubt.

With the monumental clash against Barcelona at the Santiago Bernabeu just three days away, Melchor Ruiz of COPE is reporting that Rudiger did not train with the rest of the team today and the swelling around his eye has still not reduced.

Despite that, the German is not ruled out of El Clasico on Sunday. It is also stated that Rudiger is feeling well and that Los Blancos are studying various possible mask designs for the centre-back to wear in case he is deemed ready to take the pitch against the Blaugrana.

Rudiger joined Real Madrid only this past summer and has fared well so far in his time at the Spanish capital club.

The 29-year-old, though, is behind Eder Militao and David Alaba in the pecking order under Carlo Ancelotti and even if he is fully fit for Sunday, it is likely that he might be benched in favour of the former two.

But, with Militao himself having suffered a minor muscular issue last week against Getafe, Ancelotti will have some key decisions to make with regard to his defensive personnel for the blockbuster encounter versus Barcelona.

Apart from Rudiger, Thibaut Courtois is also a major doubt for the contest, with the Belgian yet to return to group training.

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Real Madrid News

Key Real Madrid star will be fit for Valladolid clash despite national team withdrawal



Photo by Linnea Rheborg/Getty Images

Real Madrid have been greeted with some positive news on the injury front as goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois is expected to be fit and ready for the upcoming La Liga clash against Real Valladolid.

The 30-year-old custodian had flown away for national team duty with Belgium and played the full game against Sweden last week. However, the Real Madrid ace was sent back to the club over the weekend due to a minor adductor strain.

This raised concerns over the former Chelsea star’s condition, especially with a busy period lying ahead for the Merengues.

However, Mario Cortegana of The Athletic has eased any nerves surrounding his situation, reporting that Courtois was subjected to tests upon returning to Spain and there is no reason for worry.

The report states that Real Madrid expect their No. 1 to be fit and available for their next game which will be against Real Valladolid in La Liga on April 2, Sunday.

It is further stated that the knock Courtois sustained was not a new one and that the 30-year-old had felt discomfort in the same area during Los Blancos’ UEFA Champions League Round of 16 second-leg tie against Liverpool at the Santiago Bernabeu earlier this month.

Courtois has featured 32 times across all competitions this term, having missed a few matches due to fitness issues. He has managed just ten clean sheets and will be hoping to add to that against Valladolid, now that is reportedly fit to feature at the weekend.

In another boost, reports earlier today indicated that Toni Kroos does not have any injury after concerns were raised due to the midfielder doing individual training sessions over the past week.

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