Karim Benzema and Marcelo have given a boost to Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane ahead of the coming La Liga trip to Real Betis by returning to training. Furthermore, Raphael Varane has joined the France national team after been declared fit but Casemiro, Luka Modric and Fabio Coentrao continued their respective recoveries.
The Champions League winners will travel to Betis on 15 October after the international break in the hope of returning to their winning ways following four consecutive draws against Villarreal, Las Palmas, Borussia Dortmund and Eibar. Zidane has been training without 15 first-team players during the past two days due to their international commitments. Yet, the club have revealed that at least the French boss welcomed the return of both Marcelo and Benzema.
"The week's training continued today at Real Madrid City with 15 players absent as they train with their national teams. For the second day in a row Casilla, Yáñez, Marcelo, Danilo, Benzema and Mariano trained along with the Castilla players on pitch three," Real Madrid confirmed.
Marcelo had missed the last three games with a muscle strain. Meanwhile, Zidane revealed after the latest draw with Eibar that Benzema and Varane were forced off at half-time due to minor injuries.
"Both of them picked up small knocks," Zidane confirmed then. "Karim felt a twinge in his knee. We'll have to wait for the scan. Varane took a real blow on the back of his thigh. We hope he'll be back fit soon and it's nothing more than a knock."
However, it looks like the duo have already overcome those concerns and will be ready to face Betis. Yet, while Benzema is training at the Real Madrid training ground, Varane has joined his national team and is even available for the World Cup qualifier between France and Belarus on Thursday night.
However, the trip to Betis may still come too early for Casemiro, Modric and Coentrao.
"Coentrao trained using the indoor facilities, while Casemiro and Modric continue with their respective recovery processes," Real Madrid added.
Casemiro has claimed that he is working hard to return to action as soon as possible after having been badly missed during the four disappointing draws – as Zidane hasn't go any other specialist in the position to anchor the midfield.
"The challenge was a really strong one, but I've forgotten about it now. I know that it's a case of taking things gradually, it's a bit of a tricky injury, but I'm working hard to be back as soon as possible," Casemiro said to the club website. "When I'm not out there on the pitch and can't help out because of an injury, of course, I'm angry because I want to help my teammates and give my all for the team. It's pretty tough being out and not being able to help. I know that my teammates want me to be back and fully fit and I'm calmly working away to get to that level and come back even stronger".
Meanwhile, Zidane is sweating over the fitness of James Rodriguez after he joined the Colombian national team despite missing the weekend draw with Eibar due to a calf strain. National team boss Jose Nestor Pekerman has ruled out the playmaker for World Cup qualifier against Paraguay on Thursday night, but suggesting he could risk him for the following encounter with Uruguay on Tuesday.