Gareth Bale could return for Real Madrid by weekend - Zinedine Zidane
Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane says Luka Modric is out of Wednesday's La Liga game at Levante with an ankle knock, while Gareth Bale could return by the weekend's home clash with Celta Vigo.
Modric received a blow to his left ankle during Saturday's 1-0 La Liga defeat to neighbours Atletico Madrid at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, and has since reportedly received a number of stitches to a cut in that area.
Bale has not featured for Madrid since picking up a calf injury against Sporting Gijon on Jan. 17, and suffering a further setback in early February, but was back training with his teammates on Tuesday morning.
Neither player will be available for the midweek trip to the Ciutat de Valencia stadium, the Los Blancos coach confirmed at his pregame news conference, although there is a chance Bale may be ready to make his first appearance in over six weeks at the weekend, against Celta.
"Tomorrow Modric is not going to be ready -- he took a very hard knock to his foot," Zidane said. "He cannot play tomorrow.
"Gareth was with us this morning. It is his first full training session. It went well, he did not feel the problem he had. So I am happy with that, his problem is over.
"He [Bale] is a fundamental player for Madrid, of course I would prefer to have him with us. It is more difficult then to pick the team, but I always want Gareth with us. We will see if he can be back with us this weekend."
Both Karim Benzema and Marcelo are also definitely out of the game against bottom team, Levante, with hamstring and calf injuries, respectively. Meanwhile defenders Dani Carvajal and Sergio Ramos are unavailable due to suspension.
Better news for Zidane is that centre-back Pepe should return after missing the best part of a month with a foot problem, while the Galactico coach suggested that teenage forward Borja Mayoral was likely to feature, after impressing in his second senior appearance as a half-time substitute against Atletico.
"About Borja, you will know tomorrow," he said. "He is ready. I was delighted with his game the other day, he showed personality, I am delighted for the kid. It is an important moment for him, and he is doing very well. He deserves to be here with us. Tomorrow you will know the lineup."
Levante slipped to bottom place with a 3-0 defeat at Villarreal on Sunday, but have won three of their last four home games, also worrying Barcelona during that run.
"Levante will go out as always, they will try and do their best, to bother Madrid," Zidane said. "We must be ready to play our own game, as always. And try to win."