James recovery ahead of schedule

Real Madrid will have James Rodriguez back available for Saturday’s derby game against Atletico Madrid.

Marca reports the Colombia international has returned to training sooner than expected after a thigh injury and could be called on by Rafa Benitez.

It’s not guaranteed Benitez will include the former Monaco midfielder, who hasn’t played for his club since late August’s 5-0 win over Real Betis, in which he scored two of Madrid’s five goals.

James was injured while on international duty and the extent of his involvement against Atletico may be determined by the fitness of Gareth Bale.

Bale has had a calf injury and isn’t as close to returning as James, the Wales international rated as much more of a doubt.

Sergio Ramos is expected to be fit, however, after missing the midweek trip to Sweden to play Malmo, and Danilo could feature at Vicente Calderon as well.

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