Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane has opened up on the club’s plan for injury-prone Eden Hazard in the build-up to their La Liga clash against Eibar.
Hazard has turned from one of the fiercest forwards in Europe to a peripheral figure since completing his blockbuster €150million move from Chelsea in 2019.
Once a linchpin of the Blues’ domestic and international success, the 30-year-old has become a bit-part player at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Much of Hazard’s struggle in Madrid has to be pinned on his incapacity to stay fit, as the Belgian spent most of his career in La Liga nursing injuries on the sidelines.
Only this season, he has clocked up just nine top-flight outings for Los Blancos, last featuring for Zidane’s side in a 15-minute cameo against Elche in early March.
Except for his brief appearance against Valencian minnows, Hazard has been out of action since January due to a horrendous muscle injury.
With Real Madrid’s Champions League semi-finals showdown against Liverpool around the corner, Zidane is hopeful to see the mercurial forward back to full fitness.
However, the French manager insists he won’t force the issue and will instead grant Hazard compassionate leave from taking part in full training for the time being.
“There is no plan with Hazard. We are not going to force anything,” Zizou told Marca.
“It will be little by little. I don’t tell you when I see him. If it is in three days, better. If it is in 10 days, well then ok.”
Meanwhile, Zidane refused to point figures after Sergio Ramos picked up an injury during the international break.
The captain suffered a physical setback after being used as a late substitute in Spain’s 3-1 win over Kosovo in the World Cup qualifier and could stay out of play for the next couple of weeks.
“No one is to blame, neither the national team nor Real Madrid. These are football things, the part of football that we do not like. These are things that happen, and we have to accept it,” Zidane added.
“We want him to recover as soon as possible. We know the captain and the player. He has done some damage, and I hope he recovers.
“We want Sergio to always be with us. But now we have to think about the players who are going to be there. And I don’t see beyond tomorrow, tomorrow against Eibar is what will allow us to manage the entire season.”