Real Madrid pair Gareth Bale and Dani Ceballos are at last nearing a return to fitness from calf and ankle injuries respectively.
Bale hasn’t played for Real since August, initially suffering with knee trouble and then sustaining a fresh calf problem during the November international break with Wales. Ceballos, meanwhile, is yet feature since returning to Madrid from his last loan spell at Arsenal.
Los Blancos face Real Sociedad in La Liga on Saturday. But while the rest of the squad trained in preparation for the game, Bale and Ceballos took important steps on the road to recovery as each trained individually outdoors on the grass.
Real go into the game in San Sebastian top of La Liga, seven points clear of reigning champions Atletico Madrid – albeit having played a game more. Carlo Ancelotti’s team have won five league games in a row to put a brief blip in September and October behind them.
The most recent of those wins – which extend to seven across all competitions – was against Athletic Bilbao on Wednesday night when Karim Benzema scored the only goal.
“The fact that we’ve won seven games in a row doesn’t come down to luck. When we can’t use our quality in one area, we can use another quality. I’m really pleased,” Ancelotti said, via RealMadrid.com.
“The team was tired towards the end. It’s normal because we played against a fresher team and we felt that a bit. I have to take into account these things for the next match.”
“I have to see if the players who showed signs of fatigue can play,” he added.
“We have to focus on the next three games with no time to rest. I have to assess my decisions. We’re on a very good run and I’m very happy with everyone, both those who’re playing and those who aren’t. There’s a very good atmosphere and I like the way we’re playing.”