Real Madrid coach Rafael Benitez has confirmed that Gareth Bale and Sergio Ramos have been passed fit to face city rivals Atletico on Sunday.
Wales star Bale has been sidelined since last month’s Champions League victory over Shakhtar Donetsk, while Ramos was also injured in the same game, dislocating his shoulder.
With the duo having returned to full training in recent days, Benitez is confident both will be ready to play a part against Diego Simeone’s side, though he is yet to make a decision on whether to risk them from the start.
“Gareth Bale and Sergio Ramos can play. I’ve spoken with them, they’re fine, they’re excited to return,” he said on Saturday. “We’ll make a decision tomorrow on whether or not they will start.
“They have the medical all-clear, the other thing is the rhythm of competition. But they’re players who are still very useful when they’re not at 100 per cent.”
Benitez has ruled out James Rodriguez from Sunday’s game, however, and insisted he will not be fit to feature for Colombia in the international break despite being given a call-up.
“He won’t play in this game,” said Benitez. “The doctor and the Colombian coach are in Madrid. He won’t be there for Sunday and, almost certainly, he won’t be ready for the national team, either.
“But the team looks good to me. There are things we can improve but the statistics, the feelings at the moment that we have suggest we’re going in the right direction.”