Real Madrid CF fans are delighted to see Sergio Ramos back in full training this week. Hopes are high that he will be available when the club hosts Atalanta in the second leg of their UEFA Champions League round-of-16 encounter.
Los Blancos have successfully concluded their second training session this week, and Ramos was spotted on the pitch alongside his teammates. He appeared to have fully participated in the session, along with another notable figure. Eden Hazard was also seen training, and looks to have recovered from his latest bout with injury.
Saturday’s La Liga Santander game against Elche will be the real litmus test for both players. They may be available to play, but manager Zinedine Zidane will likely ease them in with limited minutes just to help them get up to speed if they even play at all.
Zidane will be eager to get both players back in top form, but he will have to practice caution in order to avoid a relapse. He can’t risk another disaster that would limit his choices for the Italian side’s visit on Tuesday.
While Real Madrid currently holds a 1-0 advantage after the first leg in Bergamo, the tie is far from over. Atalanta will be arriving with a comeback in mind, after they were left to play most of the first leg with only ten men. Real Madrid barely secured that win, with Ferland Mendy scoring the winner with only four minutes left in regulation time.
The return leg will be tough for both sides, and Zidane knows that he needs as many of his key players as possible. Unfortunately, he will already be without Carlos Casemiro, who will be serving a ban.
Hazard has not contributed significantly throughout the season, and his recovery won’t be as crucial as Ramos. The captain has proven how much of a boost his presence gives the team, and his prolonged absence has been a constant cause for concern. The Spaniard has been working hard to get back in shape, as he has a contract extension that is still pending. He will be in a better position to negotiate once he shows that he still has a lot of miles left in his legs.