MADRID – Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane remained hopeful on Sunday that Brazil forward Vinicius Jr. will be fit before the end of the 2018-19 season.
Vinicius tore ligaments in his right leg during Madrid’s 4-1 defeat to Ajax in the second leg of the UEFA Champions League round of 16 held on March 5.
“He is one of those who just arrived this year and is young,” the Frenchman said during a press conference, adding that he wanted to see him in action and work with him on his progression.
“I want to get him back before the end of the season. He is good and he is already training on the pitch, and I think he is going to join the team shortly, although I cannot say the exact date,” Zidane added.
Meanwhile, Germany midfielder Toni Kroos missed Madrid’s final training session ahead of Monday’s away La Liga game against Leganes due to gastroenteritis, making him doubtful.
Kroos would join Belgium goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, captain Sergio Ramos and Vinicius on the sidelines.
“He has gastroenteritis. He did not feel well last night and he has not come to training. We will see his evolution between today and tomorrow ahead of the game, but he could not train with us today,” Zidane said.
Zidane had more bad news as Courtois did not recover on schedule from tendinosis in his right leg, which he has been suffering from since late March.
“He does not feel good because it is not only one discomfort but he has two or three. (When) one gets better, the other gets worse. It is better not to take risk,” he added Zidane, who was reappointed Real Madrid coach last month after the club lost practically any hope of hoisting a title this season.
The 46-year-old, who returned 278 days after his departure from the club, replaced Argentine coach Santiago Solari and signed a contract keeping him at the Santiago Bernabeu until June 30, 2022.
Madrid was currently third in the table with 60 points and a game in hand going into the Leganes clash.