International breaks are always a grim prospect for football clubs across Europe, and Real Madrid are no exception.
The reigning European champions saw Eden Hazard pick up a minor knock during Belgium’s game against the Netherlands recently.
And according to Defensa Central, Luka Modric is coming back from the international break with a muscle overload in his leg.
The influential midfielder was a part of the Croatian team that featured against Denmark and Austria. Modric started and played 90 minutes in both matches. But upon his return to the Santiago Bernabeu, the midfielder had a muscle overload.
As such, he was forced to train indoor at the gym facilities. However, the issue is not too serious, and the player should get back to full fitness in no time.
Modric could be back in contention for Real Madrid’s upcoming La Liga contest against CA Osasuna. However, it will not come as a surprise to see the Croatian being rested by Carlo Ancelotti.
Modric could start in the UEFA Champions League encounter against Shakhtar Donetsk next week, where a win could put Real Madrid in the driving seat in their quest to top the group.
Ancelotti, though, will be cautious about using the 37-year-old, especially ahead of an October schedule that involves key fixtures against RB Leipzig, Sevilla and the revered El Clasico against FC Barcelona, which is set to take place on October 16.
The big news coming from the Real Madrid camp right now, though, is that Karim Benzema has returned to training and is ready to take on Osasuna this Sunday.
Key Real Madrid defender still not 100% fit ahead of Club World Cup semi-final – report
Carlo Ancelotti heads into the FIFA Club World Cup in a pressure cooker situation. The pressure on the manager’s shoulders is immense, for his job could be on the line after Real Madrid’s poor run of form.
The injury situation does not favour the Italian tactician either. Lucas Vazquez, Ferland Mendy, Karim Benzema, Eder Militao and even Thibaut Courtois are out of the semi-final against Al Ahly, leaving him very few options to play with.
According to reports from Jorge C Picon, David Alaba too is not completely fit yet. The Austrian International was given the medical all-clear and entered the squad for Real Madrid’s game against Mallorca, yet started on the bench as he was not at 100%, and that remains the case ahead of tonight’s clash.
The report, however, adds that his mere inclusion in the squad comes as a breather for Ancelotti. Alaba is highly valued by the technical staff, not only for his reading of the game on the field but also for his leadership.
The defender has already missed seven games for Los Blancos since sustaining a muscular injury against Villarreal at La Ceramica. He did indeed come off the bench for under half an hour against Mallorca, but will likely not be risked to start on Thursday.
In his absence, Nacho Fernandez and Antonio Rudiger are expected to take centre stage in defence in Morocco. Eduardo Camavinga, meanwhile, could start as left-back again.
Alaba has played 17 games for Los Blancos this season and was one of the players with the most minutes until his injury. In his league campaign so far, he has scored one goal and provided three assists while also averaging a key pass every ninety minutes.
It remains to be seen if the Austrian recovers completely in time for the Club World Cup final should the European Champions make it. As it stands, using a cautious approach is in Real Madrid’s best interest.