Real Madrid returned to training two days after a break following their draw against Real Betis, and did so without two of their defensive starters.
At least that would have been the case at the start of the season, although increasingly there are doubts surrounding Ferland Mendy and David Alaba.
Both exercised in the gym and out on the pitch, but did so alone. It puts their availability for this weekend’s tie against Espanyol in doubt, while there is no certainty regarding their presence against Liverpool and Barcelona the following week.
The former was injured against Atletico Madrid in late January, and has been out for five weeks – Marca say a maximum of six weeks out was predicted for the French defender. That would perhaps allow him to take in their commitments next week.
Meanwhile Alaba was injured in the first leg against Liverpool, and is expected to be back on a similar time-scale. Having relapsed twice in 2023 though, they will be keen not to risk him.
While these are two major absences for Carlo Ancelotti, the fact the rest of his squad are fit and have a midweek off to work on the team is good news. That has rarely been the case this season, and there has been visible tiredness within Real Madrid in recent games.