Belgium boss Roberto Martinez has reiterated his belief that Eden Hazard will play for Real Madrid this season ahead of the summer’s European Championships.
The Belgian international will undergo an operation on Thursday in Dallas after he suffered a fracture to his right distal fibula during the recent 1-0 La Liga loss at Levante – just a week after he returned from a similar three-month layoff.
Real Madrid have yet to make a comment on the length or seriousness of the Belgian captain’s injury but Zinedine Zidane has suggested there may be hope of a return before the end of May.
Belgium boss Martinez previously told Cadena Ser last week that he was also confident that the former Chelsea star would play again in La Liga this season ahead of the European Championships this summer.
“No doubt he will be playing in a Real Madrid shirt before Belgium,” Martinez told reporters at the UEFA Nations League draw, as cited by Marca.
“Deadlines make it impossible to determine the recovery because you have to see the operation first and from there determine the deadlines.
“The first two weeks are important but knowing Eden and how he works on other small injuries he has had, we believe he will be back with Madrid (this season).
“He has had very bad luck. Throughout the season he has not been available for 20 games when if you look at the statistics you realise that Eden has barely stopped playing his entire career.
“In the last eight years at Chelsea he has not even been unavailable for the 20 that has already been lost this season. It is something that is linked to the player.”
Hazard joined Los Blancos from Stamford Bridge last summer in a move that was reported to have the transfer value of €100m, but injury problems have ensured he has featured in just 15 games for the club.
The former Lille player would have been out of contract in West London this summer, and this latest injury setback will be seen as a significant blow to Zinedine Zidane’s side, who lost to Manchester City in the first leg of their Round of 16 Champions League tie last week.