Football

Eden Hazard nears Real Madrid return with Chelsea reunion in sight

Eden Hazard will make his comeback from injury as Real Madrid face Elche on Wednesday, Zinedine Zidane has confirmed.

Eden Hazard is expected to make his return from injury for Real Madrid against Betis this week.

The Belgian star has been out of action since mid-March, when he was substituted just 15 minutes in the clash against Elche because of another hip problem.

Hazard, 30, has been limited to just nine appearances in La Liga this season because of injuries and he has needed time to reset his body.

It has been a slow and meticulous process, one of the few possibilities that remained to be tried to help the Belgium star recover.

Panic spread after the club published the umpteenth medical report on the attacker, who had been diagnosed with an “injury in the right psoas muscle” after he was taken off against Elche last month.

Hazard considered having an operation, but that was ruled out because the two doctors who had previously worked on his right ankle advised him against it.

During a period of reflection and with the support of a specialist from the Belgian Football Federation, Hazard has remained calm.

Attention has been focused on a reeducation of his body and he has been working on his lower torso in the gym since February.

Hazard had been lucky to avoid serious or persistent injury throughout his career until he arrived at Madrid from Chelsea in 2019 and he was previously unenthusiastic about training or working out in the gym.

Although Madrid had not set a date for when they expected Hazard to feature again, coach Zinedine Zidane had hoped he would be able to feature in the Champions League quarter-final tie against Liverpool.

The winger then hoped to feature in the match against Getafe on April 18, but he has laerned to pause and analyse his situation and was again left out of the squad.

His patience seems to be paying off and the Santiago Bernabeu outfit hope he can be fit to face Betis in La Liga on Saturday.

If all goes well, he will be in line to come up against his former team when Madrid take on Chelsea in the Champions League semi-finals.

Madrid host Thomas Tuchel’s side in the first leg of the tie on April 27, with the return fixture scheduled for May 5.

Zidane’s team are unbeaten in their last 16 matches in all competitions as they look to maintain their challenge for the Champions League and La Liga titles.

They are currently second in the Spanish top-flight and trail leaders Atletico Madrid by three points.

If they manage to get past Chelsea, they will be faced with either Paris Saint-Germain or Manchester City in the European decider.

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