August 23, 2019
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Real Madrid’s Vinicius to miss match vs Athletic Bilbao - Zidane says

Madrid, Apr 20 (efe-epa).- Real Madrid's Brazilian winger Vinicius Jr., a rising young talent, is not yet sufficiently fit to play against Athletic Bilbao although he has resumed training with the squad following his recovery from a knee injury that sidelined him for a month and a half, head coach Zinedine Zidane said Saturday.

Vinicius ruptured his right-knee ligament during Madrid’s 4-1 home defeat to Ajax in the second leg of the UEFA Champions League round of 16 and has completed his recovery process to participate in the latest two training sessions.

“I'm happy to see him with us,” Zidane said at the pre-match press conference. “But with Vinicius, we have to go slowly; because it's been almost two months of injury and now you have to be very calm with him.”

The Madrid coach explained what he has in mind for the 18-year-old Brazilian, saying that Vinicius’ first appearance with Zidane would be on Thursday against Getafe or even on next Sunday vs. Rayo Vallecano.

“He has to train well next week, we will see (him) every day but we must be calm with Vinicius, we are not going to push for his return,” he said.

Zidane expressed his admiration for the way Vinicius plays, a player who will be one of those who is certain to have a guaranteed place in the next season’s project.

“He has shown his quality and he is the player he is, he is an 18-year-old player, and I am happy for him.”

In related news, Madrid players sealed the team’s preparation for Sunday’s match against Athletic amid the absence of injured players including; captain Sergio Ramos, defender Alvaro Odriozola, goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois and striker Mariano Diaz.

Odriozola “has been diagnosed with a fracture of his left clavicle,” during Friday’s training session, according to a club statement.

“We are screwed by the injury because it is complicated in the clavicle,” Zidane said at the presser. “He is set to undergo surgery this afternoon, and it’d be complicated that he returns (to play again in the remainder of) this season.”

On the other hand, “Zidane called on all 21 players currently available,” for Bilbao clash that is to be hosted at Madrid’s home-pitch, Santiago Bernabeu, the club said. EFE

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