Sergio Ramos missed Real Madrid's first training session in Japan on Monday (12 December) as Los Blancos begin the preparations for Thursday's Club World Cup semi-final against Club America de Mexico. Manager Zinedine Zidane made 23 of his first-team players available for the trip to Japan, leaving only Gareth Bale at home as the Welshman continues the rehabilitation from his recent ankle surgery.
Ramos was once again the Real Madrid hero on Saturday after scoring another header in the 92nd minute of the La Liga game against Deportivo la Coruna to lead his side to a dramatic 3-2 victory.
The captain's late goal came only a week after he netted a late equaliser in El Clasico against Barcelona and saw Los Blancos break a new club record of 35 games unbeaten, keeping them at the top of La Liga table, six points ahead of the Catalans.
Zidane made wholesale changes in that game in order to have his key players fresh for the Club World Cup semi-final against America de Mexico, leaving Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema, Luka Modric, Marcelo, Raphael Varane, Lucas Vazquez and Dani Carvajal out of his line-up.
The seven regular starters are thus expected to play in the Thursday clash with the Mexican outfit but the availability of the captain is unsure after Real Madrid revealed that he couldn't train with the rest of his teammates on Monday.
"Real Madrid held an afternoon session on their first day in Japan. After arriving at dawn, the Whites completed a recovery session at the Mitsuzawa Stadium. The players performed continuous running on the pitch for half an hour as well as some stretching. Sergio Ramos worked inside the facilities. This Tuesday, Zidane will hold another session to continue preparing for the semi-final of the Club World Cup, which will be played against Club America de Mexico," the club confirmed.
Yet, Zidane also has Pepe and Nacho to partner Varane in the heart of the defence and could rest Ramos in order to have him ready for a hypothetical final.
Meanwhile, the Real Madrid boss addressed the media before the workout, admitting that his players are not in the best shape following their long-trip to Japan but he is confident they will be fully fit for Thursday.
"Today is a difficult day because we didn't sleep a lot and arrived with jet lag. We'll rest today. I personally feel dead, but no problem. The players are going to rest and tomorrow we'll be better off for a night's sleep," Zidane said.
"We arrived well, now we must rest. We have three days to work and we've arrived in good shape. We feel very good and are happy to be here. The goal is to try to do everything to win this tournament. The first time I came here was in '96 and it's always good with the Japanese. They are very affectionate people towards Real Madrid."