Bale returned to training on Friday 24 November. Getty


  • Bale, Keylor Navas and Mateo Kovacic are in contention to play on Saturday.
  • Zidane refused to rule out Sergio Ramos after the captain returned to training on Friday.

Zinedine Zidane has claimed that Gareth Bale, Keylor Navas and Mateo Kovacic have recovered from their respective injuries but the Real Madrid manager has refused to reveal whether any of them will return to action when Los Blancos host Malaga on Saturday (25 November).

The France boss was also coy on Sergio Ramos' availability but he confirmed that Marco Asensio will certainly miss the visit of Michel's side due to a fresh muscle injury.

Bale, 28, has not played a game since suffering a muscle injury during the 3-1 Champions League victory over Borussia Dortmund on 26 September.

The former Tottenham Hotspur was expected to be back for the last weekend's goalless draw with Atletico Madrid. However, days before the derby Real revealed that the Wales international was going to be on the sidelines for a longer spell after suffering a setback in his recovery during a training session.

Bale also missed the 6-0 Champions League win over APOEL FC on Tuesday as a result but he was back in full training on Friday.

Zidane says that the Welshman is completely recovered from his injury woes but the Real boss didn't want to reveal whether him, Navas or Koavic will be back in the squad to face Malaga.

"Gareth, Keylor and Kovacic are ready and may or may not be in the squad," Zidane said in the press conference ahead of the visit of Malaga.

"This time it'll take less to get him right. The second injury wasn't a long one. We have to get Gareth back to 100%. I don't think he needs a lot of time to re-find his form because he has already trained with us and he looks good to me.

"We know what he can give us. He's very strong, powerful and technically good. He's worked hard and has done very well in the matches he has played with this club. There's a lot of talk that he's injured, that he has spent a lot of time out, playing three games and then missing one. But he's very important for us. He knows that, I know it and everyone else does. I don't know when he'll play. Today he's trained with us, he's in fine shape physically and not in pain. We'll see when he's going to play,

"I prefer to have Gareth available, obviously. He can give us his strength, he's very good, fast, he's a crosser and works hard. He brings a lot to the team. The important thing for everyone and for his mood is that he is with us and that he starts playing. That can take away the negative things that could be around him".

Navas and Kovacic have also been out of action for more than one and two months respectively due to muscle injuries. Yet, they could have a better chance than Bale of being named in the squad with the latter having been training with the rest of his teammates since last week.

Meanwhile, Ramos is also back in training with a protective mask after the captain broke his nose against Atletico Madrid.

His return to face Malaga will be a major boost for Zidane with Nacho being unavailable due to suspension.

But asked whether the Spaniard will be ready to play with the mask on Saturday, Zidane said: "You'll see tomorrow if he plays, he'll play when he's ready. I'm not afraid of anything. If he can't play, someone else will play and I'm sure they'll do well."

Meanwhile, the Real boss ruled Asensio out of the game with the Spanish starlet having been unable to train since playing the full 90 minutes in the win over APOEL.

"It's nothing serious but he has something," Zidane said when asked why Asensio missed the Friday's workout. "It's better to lose him for three or four days than to continue and make it worse."

Real later confirmed that the Spaniard suffered an "external obturator injury on the right leg", but the club have not set a time frame on his recovery.

"Following tests carried out on Marco Asensio by the Real Madrid Sanitas medical team, he has been diagnosed with an external obturator injury on the right leg. His recovery will be monitored," the club said.