Karim Benzema and Jesus Vallejo have taken a step towards recovery from their respective injuries, undertaking some light training on Thursday (21 September). The Real Madrid duo are still expected to miss the Saturday's trip to Alaves but could be back soon to ease Zinedine Zidane's concerns following a disappointing start to La Liga, which has left them seven points behind leaders Barcelona after only five games.
"Real Madrid have now started preparations for their La Liga clash with Alavés. The Whites carried out their first session before their visit to Mendizorroza for their LaLiga match day six (Saturday, 4:15pm CEST) duties. The big news is that both Benzema and Vallejo trained out on the pitch, doing individual ball drills," the club confirmed.
Benzema suffered a muscle injury in his right leg during Real Madrid's draw against Levante on 9 September, being forced off and replaced by Gareth Bale before half-time.
Initial reports ruled him out for over a month, but it looks like the Frenchman could return sooner than that as Real Madrid revealed that he was back in the pitch on Thursday.
Vallejo, meanwhile, returned to Real Madrid in the summer to fill the gap left by Pepe's departure after an impressive loan spell at Eintracht Frankfurt.
However, the Spain Under 21 international is yet to play for Los Blancos after having struggling with a thigh injury since the beginning of the campaign.
The return of the French striker will be a boost for Zidane after Real Madrid have only scored nine goals in the first five games of the campaign – with Barcelona netting 17 in the same time.
Benzema refused to set a timeframe on his recovery during a press conference.
"I'm working to get back to full fitness as quickly as possible. I don't know exactly when that will be," Benzema said before playing down Los Blancos' 1-0 defeat to Real Betis on Wednesday night.
"We have not made the best of starts in La Liga. But that does not matter too much, I have every faith in the team. We work together and we're just getting started. We are seven points behind the league leaders [Barcelona], but we're united. Last year we won an incredible amount and we are Real Madrid, so in the next game I'm certain we will start to stop the rot".
Benzema was addressing the media after on Wednesday at Real Madrid announced the striker had signed a new deal at the Bernabeu until 2021 said to be worth in excess of €7.5m a year.
The striker said that he would eventually like to hang his boots up at the Champions League winners after the reports claimed that the new deal includes a €1bn release clause to ward off potential suitors.
"I feel really happy. This contract renewal signifies a lot of things for me. I am thrilled to continue making history with the greatest club in the world. I'm really pleased with how my career here has turned out and I'll work hard to keep on winning titles. The pressure at the club is huge, and I'm part of a very specific group of players here at Real Madrid, but I need to keep working hard as I have many years ahead of me and want to keep putting my stamp on this club," Benzema said.
"The club has been like a family to me in some of the toughest moments of my career. The people here have always been a real rock for me, both on and off the field. From the day I arrived, the president and the people who work at the club have supported me and I feel really at ease here, I've always wanted to stay. This is the best place for me to be, I want to retire here because there is no other club like it. I think this club will be my last".