Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema is expected to remain sidelined for the La Liga game against Las Palmas on Sunday (13 March) after the club confirmed the France international was absent from the Thursday training session. Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, Sergio Ramos and Marcelo also trained away from their teammates in the gym, but this is believed to be a precautionary measure and the four could well be available for the trip to the Canary Islands.
Los Blancos returned to training on Thursday morning two days after securing the qualification to the Champions League quarter-final with a 2-0 victory over Roma at the Santiago Bernabeu, having already beaten the Serie A side 2-0 away.
Benzema did not feature against the Italian side, continuing the recovery from the injury he picked up in his right biceps femoris during the 1-0 home defeat to Atletico Madrid on 27 February, which also saw him miss La Liga victories over Levante and Celta Vigo. Reports at the time suggested that Benzema would miss three weeks, and it appears as though the Las Palmas match will come too early for him.
Bale, Ronaldo, Ramos and Marcelo all started the win over Roma. However, the club have now revealed through their official website that the players trained away from the rest of the squad on Thursday, working out in the gym.
"Benzema continued his recovery process, while Cristiano Ronaldo, Sergio Ramos, Marcelo and Gareth Bale trained using the indoor facilities," the club said. They also confirmed that Real Madrid academy trio Martin Odegaard, Borja Mayoral and Marcos Llorente had been training with the first team.
Manager Zinedine Zidane has previously claimed he was unwilling to take any risks with Bale after the former Spurs star spent two months out. The Welshman made his first start since injury against Roma, but was replaced in the second-half by Lucas Vazquez.
Marcelo and Ramos, meanwhile, have also returned to action recently from muscle problems, and this could explain their absence from the training session.