Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane has wished Neymar a speedy recovery from his ankle injury after claiming that he would like the Paris Saint-Germain star to be available for the decisive second leg of the Champions League last-16.
Neymar's availability for the visit of Los Blancos is doubtful after he suffered an ankle sprain in the second half of PSG's 3-0 win over Marseille on Sunday [25 February].
The news set alarms bells ringing among Unai Emery's side with the former Barcelona star expected to play a key role in PSG's hopes of overturning a 3-1 deficit from the first leg against Real to progress through to the quarter-finals.
However, Zidane said that he was not happy to see Neymar stretchered off and wants the Brazilian to be fit for the crucial clash in a fortnight's time.
"I don't like to see player injured and it doesn't make me happy," Zidane said in the press conference ahead of Real's trip to Espanyol on Tuesday (27 February).
"I hope he's available for this match because I never want an opponent to be injured. I didn't like it when he got injured because I was watching the game and I hope it's not too bad. If he doesn't play there'll be another player in his place and he'll be motivated and ready to play."
Real face Espanyol and Getafe in La Liga before the trip to Paris and Zidane has his own injury concerns with Luka Modric, Marcelo, Toni Kroos and long-term injury absentee Jesus Vallejo yet to recover from their respective muscle injuries.
The Real boss confirmed that the upcoming trip to Espanyol will come too soon for the quartet but the French boss provided an "optimistic" update after suggesting that some of them could be back in contention ahead of the crucial clash with PSG.
"They're recovering and they're working hard even if not right now. They're working hard in a specific way and we'll see what'll happen with the three of them," the Real boss said.
"Vallejo has been injured for a longer time and we want to get the four back as soon as possible. I don't like to pressure the players. They're always timeframes and there is no need to push things and take risks. We'll see throughout the week if anyone can re-join the group. I'm optimistic".
Real secured an impressive 4-0 win over Alaves at the weekend without the quartet and Zidane hopes Los Blancos can continue their recent run when they visit the Barcelona's neighbours on Tuesday [27 February].
"I'm not going to look at the league table. They're a team that have looked very good this year, but we know who we're up against and we know we're going to have to put in a good performance to beat Espanyol," the boss added.
"In the end we know what football is like and we want to keep our good run going, playing good football. To do that we have to go out in every game and do the same: go out strong, play well, think about our goal and defend when we don't have the ball. We have to start from scratch and we want to play well at a difficult ground."