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By ESPN Staff

Kaka in line for Real return

Real Madrid playmaker Kaka could be in line for his first appearance of the season on Monday after being included in a 20-man squad for the Primera Division derby against Getafe.

The Brazil international, a £56 million signing from AC Milan in the summer of 2009, has not represented Madrid since last May and underwent a meniscus operation in August, but he has been called up by Jose Mourinho for the trip to the Coliseum Alfonso Perez.

Also included is Argentina midfielder Fernando Gago, who has not played for Madrid this campaign either due to a knee problem.

Gonzalo Higuain and Jerzy Dudek are absent through injury, though, while Pepe and Ricardo Carvalho are suspended and Mahamadou Diarra has been omitted.

Mourinho confirmed Kaka is not yet ready to push for a starting spot but suggested the Brazilian could get a run-out at the end of the derby.

"He will not be a starter against Getafe, he's not even close to that yet. He can give us 15 or 20 minutes of his great quality, but no more," said the Portuguese.

"We need to highlight what a fantastic professional he is for having done such an incredible job. The medical team have followed him very closely and he's had a recovery expert with him practically 24 hours a day working very hard.

"Now that Kaka has returned it's time to congratulate everyone who has worked with him, and above all the player himself, who has been a fantastic processional."

The return to fitness of Kaka is a timely one as it is not known when Higuain will be back.

The Argentina international, who was Madrid's leading scorer in La Liga in the last two seasons, is facing surgery on the back problem that has sidelined him since November.

That would leave Madrid with just Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema as senior players to lead the line for Madrid, but the availability of Kaka will give Mourinho more options up front.

Mourinho said: "For the six months when we were missing Kaka we built a team without Kaka. Now Higuain isn't available and we will have to build a team without him. A team has to adapt to the circumstances and at times the players have to play in positions which aren't theirs."

Regarding any possible exits during the January transfer window, Mourinho added: "The information from the club is that no players are going. We have 25 places occupied, the players who have played less are quality ones, we have confidence in them and their time will come.

"The information that I have is that we will continue until the end of the season with the same 25, which would then be 24 because of Higuain."


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