FILE PHOTO: Eden of Real Madrid in action with Lorenzo Pellegrini during a preseason friendly – AS Roma v Real Madrid – Stadio Olimpico, Rome, Italy – August 11, 2019.
Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane said he doesn’t want to rush Eden Hazard’s return from injury, minimizing the chances that the Belgian would make his long-awaited club debut in the Levante match in La Liga on Saturday.
Video Credit: Independent.co.uk
Hazard, who moved to Real Madrid from Chelsea for 100 million euros (111 million dollars) after last season’s close, has missed the first three league matches with the whites due to a thigh injury.
Zidane’s side has had problems with draws against Real Valladolid and Villarreal after their first-day win over Celta Vigo, placing fifth with five points, four points behind league leaders Atletico Madrid.
With the injury of playmaker Isco and the suspension of striker Gareth Bale, Hazard was expected to take the reins as the team’s protagonist, but Zidane warned that Real Madrid’s new number seven would need time.
“We have to go easy on him. He’s been injured for three weeks and returned to full practice a week ago. We’re all looking forward to seeing him but there are a lot of games and we need to take it easy,” said Zidane.
“There’s an expectation, he’s ready and I’ll be the one to decide how to dose the minutes and his game. We’ll have to play Hazard not just this game but many more during the season. You have to be calm, but everyone is ready and he is the first.
The club from the Spanish capital have experienced an injury-plagued start to the season, and the latest developments in this regard were mixed. James Rodriguez returned to full training, but Luka Modric returned injured from the call with Croatia.
“It’s true that there are negative and positive things. We’re losing Modric but some players are there,” said the French coach.
The Croatian’s injury means that Toni Kroos and Casemiro are the only central midfielders available to Zidane.
“The squad is this, there are no more changes and we are many players. Everyone will have a chance to contribute to the team,” he said.
“I hope Luka recovers quickly for us. He’s injured, he can’t play tomorrow and you have to accept that.”