For Real Madrid’s French coach Zinedine Zidane, Eden Hazard’s injury, which will keep him off the field for weeks, is “very bad news”.
“It’s very bad news. He was doing very well, in great form,” Zidane commented on Friday at a press conference. “He was beginning to show his qualities, as he has done everywhere in the world.”
“It’s just a temporary setback, and I hope this setback will not last long” Zidane added, without commenting on the length of time the 28-year-old Belgian international will be unavailable.
Injured on his right ankle during a clash with Thomas Meunier against Paris Saint-Germain in a League of Champions fixture on 26 November that ended in a 2-2 draw, Hazard was to have been out for 10 days, but a microfracture detected on Thursday extends his absence to the end of January 2020. This means he will miss Saturday’s home match against Espanyol in La Liga and the Clasico in Barcelona on 18 December.
The Real Madrid coach stressed that Hazard “has shown, in his recent performances, the important player that he is and will be.” He added: “I do not like to see my players side-lined as a result of injury; even less Eden.”
Real faces Espanyol at 1.00 p.m. on Saturday for the 16th day of La Liga without Hazard and Marcelo, also injured and replaced by 24-year-old French left back Ferland Mendy, who arrived this summer in Madrid.
Zidane also confirmed that the injury to Welshman Gareth Bale (24), revealed by the media, occurred during the Merengues’ last championship match at Alaves (1-2).
“He has been feeling discomfort,” Zidane said. “He did not train with us this week.”