Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has received a new injury boost after Isco featured in Monday's training session ahead of the Champions League opener against Sporting Club Portugal on Wednesday night (14 September). Meanwhile, Fabio Coentrao also took part in the first part of the workout with the rest of his teammates, but it is still unlikely that the Portuguese international will be available to face his compatriots.
Isco, Coentrao, including long-term absentee Keylor Navas missed the 5-2 victory over Osasuna on Saturday, which saw Los Blancos move to the top of the La Liga table following the defeats of Barcelona and Las Palmas.
The Spanish midfielder had also missed the previous win over Celta Vigo due to a sprained ankle while Coentrao is yet to feature for Real Madrid this term, after he tore his muscle last April during his loan spell at Monaco.
Zidane had earlier suggested the trio may return to action soon as they were make satisfactory progress in their recuperation.
"Isco is approaching full fitness. He's fine, he just hasn't trained with the group yet, but he'll do that next week. Fabio is a different case and we've got to be a bit more patient with him. He wants to play now but there's a recovery plan and that has to be respected," the boss explained ahead of the game against Osasuna. When asked about the number one he added: "I can't set a date for when he'll be back in the squad. He's happy to be back with us and that's great news, but he's not quite ready to be called up to the squad. We'll see how he feels over the next week".
But it appears the return of Isco and Coentrao is much closer after both featured in Monday's training session, with the Spaniard lasting the duration of the workout.
"Real Madrid continue their intense preparation for the Champions League opener this Wednesday against Sporting Club de Portugal (8:45pm CEST). The whole squad trained on pitches 1 and 2 at the Real Madrid City where high intensity ball work was the focus of the session," the club confirmed via an official statement. "Coentrão did the first part of the session with the group before continuing with some individual exercises out on the grass. "
The news would be a big boost for Zidane after Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema also made their long-expected returns in the win over Osasuna. Meanwhile, James Rodriguez, Marcelo and Casemiro were rested for that game following the international break, but the trio are also expected to be available to face Sporting.