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Tactics And Analysis

Marcelo operation a success

Real Madrid left-back Marcelo is due back in Spain on Tuesday after an operation to fix the broken bone in his foot was carried out successfully in Amsterdam on Saturday.

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The Brazilian was recovering in hospital and, all going well, would be back in Madrid to begin his return to fitness soon, according to a statement published on Real Madrid's website on Sunday.

"Marcelo was successfully operated on for the fracture of the fifth metatarsal of his right foot by the ankle surgery specialist Dr. Niek Van Dijk, of the orthopedic surgery department of the Academisch Medisch Centrum in Amsterdam," the statement read.

Madrid did not say how long the defender was expected to be out, but initial reports when the injury occurred suggested he was unlikely to play again this year. Real's other full-backs Alvaro Arbeloa and Fabio Coentrao are both also out of action at the moment, but should return early next month.

On-loan Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien filled in at left-back in Madrid's uneventful 2-0 home win over Celta Vigo in La Liga on Saturday, with France Under-21 international Raphael Varane alongside Pepe at centre-half and Sergio Ramos at right-back. The same back four could play at Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League on Wednesday.

On Saturday Real assistant coach Aitor Karanka said the defence had done everything expected of it against Celta.

"As the manager said, after what happened during the week, he knew exactly where each player was going to play," said Karanka. "The back four played very well. Celta only had one header at the end of the match and the back four have played really well. Sergio knew his position, Rafa (Varane) when he plays fulfills his role, and Pepe played like he always does."


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