James Rodriguez and Pepe have handed Zinedine Zidane a double injury boost ahead of Real Madrid's trip to Celta Vigo on Sunday (5 February), with the pair returning to training on Tuesday. Luka Modric is also expected to rejoin the group in the coming days, while Dani Carvajal has set a target of next week for his recovery.
James, Pepe, Modric and Carvajal were in the treatment room alongside Marcelo and long-term absentee Gareth Bale when Real Madrid beat Real Sociedad 3-0 at the weekend. However, Zidane revealed after the encounter that the injury situation was set to improve ahead of the trip to Celta as both James and Modric were nearing their returns.
"We hope to have Luka Modric back next week, but I can't say when. It's the same with James," the Real Madrid boss confirmed in his press conference after the win over the Basque side.
Real Madrid have now confirmed the good news regarding James after the Colombia international took part in a session on Tuesday evening.
Modric is yet to follow but Los Blancos provided another positive update after revealing that Pepe was also back in the workouts after recovering from a muscle issue that has kept him on the sidelines since December.
"The Real Madrid squad completed their first training session of the week as preparations for Sunday's La Liga clash against Celta at Balaídos got underway. Ball work took centre stage in a workout that saw James and Pepe train with the group, whilst Raphaël Varane trained indoors." the club confirmed. "Luka Modric, Dani Carvajal, Gareth Bale, Pepe and Marcelo, who continue with their recoveries, combined work indoors with training out on the pitches."
The trip to Celta will come too early for Carvajal, but the defender has revealed that he expects to return to training early next week.
"I'm working hard to get back and I'm in with the therapist this week, initially without the ball and then with it. If everything goes to plan, I'll be back and training with the rest of the squad by next Tuesday," Carvajal said to the club's official website.
The Spain international suffered a grade-two injury to his right biceps femoris on 19 January and reports in Spain suggested that could be out of action for up to four weeks, meaning that he was a major doubt for the first-leg tie of the Champions League last-16 against Napoli on 15 February. However, it looks that the defender could be back in time for the La Liga encounter with Osasuna.