Gareth Bale is expected to be back in action for the Champions League final against Juventus on 3 June. The Real Madrid star is yet to play a game since suffering a calf injury during the 3-2 defeat to Barcelona on 23 April. However, Zinedine Zidane has provided a positive update following Los Blancos knocking Atletico Madrid out of the CL semi-finals 4-2 on aggregate.
Isco took the place of former Tottenham Hotspur star in the starting line-up and scored Real Madrid's only goal in a 2-1 defeat, which saw them make the final thanks to a 3-0 victory in the first leg.
Many in Spain feel Isco should retain his place in the line-up against Juventus as Los Blancos look more balanced in a traditional 4-4-2 than when they play with Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema upfront.
However, Zidane claimed Bale is expected to recover in time for the final and could make the line-up as Real Madrid "are a better team" when the Welshman plays.
"He's recovering and there's time for him to be ready for the final. I hope he's ready before and I hope he can be with us more than anything. We're a better team when he plays," Zidane said after the game. However he did also praise Isco.
"Isco was important in our game plan today, playing between the lines with his quality. In the last 10 or 15 minutes of the first half we found our rhythm and in the second half we were better. He's contributed a lot, as did Karim and Cristiano Ronaldo".
Bale will have additional motivation to make the final as it takes place at the National Stadium of Wales (also known as the Principality Stadium) in his home city of Cardiff.
However, Real Madrid would be advised against rushing the ex-Spurs man back as he has been hit by a number of injuries this season, including an ankle knock that has kept him sidelined for three months.
Bale returned to action from that blow in February but has since struggled to replicate his best form. He appeared to shake off those issues in time for El Clasico with Barcelona on 23 April but lasted just 39 minutes after suffering a recurrence of the injury.
The Welshman has been out of action since but Zidane's positive words suggest he could even be ready to help Real Madrid in their battle with Barcelona for La Liga.
Los Blancos still have games to play against Sevilla (14 May), Celta Vigo (17 May) and Malaga (21 May) before the Champions League final and Bale could use them to gain match fitness with a target of being 100% fit against Juventus.