After being persistently hit by injuries in his time in the Spanish capital since a blockbuster move from Chelsea in 2019, Hazard’s condition is being treated carefully.
saying he will not risk another injury setback for his club’s record signing.
Not involved in Saturday’s 2-0 win over Eibar, Hazard instead returned to training, but Zidane is happy to wait longer until he is convinced the 30-year-old is ready for action.
“Hazard needs to stay calm and be patient, the most important thing is that he is completely recovered and I don’t think we’ll hurry his return,” Zidane told a news conference on Monday.
“If the player is in good shape then I’ll want to play him but right now we’re going to take things slowly and see what happens.”
Hazard sustained two serious ankle injuries in his first season with Real, making only 20 starts in all competitions.
He has had equally bad luck with injuries this campaign, facing five separate setbacks and making only 11 starts in all competitions, scoring three goals.
“I need all of my players all the time and want them to all be fit and healthy and I don’t like it at all when they’re injured and what we want more than anything is to have Hazard back as soon as possible,” Zidane said.
Real, who will also be without injured defender Sergio Ramos, have been beset by injury problems all season but they have overcome a poor start to win their last 11 games in all competitions, remaining unbeaten since the end of January.
Record 13-times European Cup winners, Real are Spain’s only remaining representatives in the competition and are back in contention to win the La Liga title, sitting three points behind leaders Atletico Madrid.
Zidane underlined his side’s capacity to overcome problems.
“My team has been underrated but I believe in them and know what they can do,” he said.
“Whenever there are still signs of life, we never give up. We’re going to keep on fighting for everything, we’ve had some very difficult moments this season, we’re much better now but we still haven’t achieved anything.”
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