Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema feels ready “in my head” to face Paris Saint-Germain after his recent injury absence but stressed he will not risk further problems if he does not feel right in training.
The France international has been absent since suffering a hamstring strain on January 23 against Elche.
Madrid have sorely missed their 24-goal top-scorer, managing to net just once in three full games since he sustained his injury, drawing a blank most recently on Sunday in a 0-0 draw at Villarreal.
Fears that he would also miss their Champions League last-16 first-leg trip to Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday were eased when Madrid’s Sunday squad announcement included Benzema.
But while that was undoubtedly a positive step, Benzema insists his participation at the Parc des Prince is by no means guaranteed.
“There’s been many hours of work and I feel much better,” he told reporters. “Now we have a training session to see if I can play, but I have to get more feeling [of his condition] on the pitch.
“Being 100 per cent, the most important thing is in your head. But you have to recover and have good sensations on the pitch.
— Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadriden) February 14, 2022
“It’s a difficult time when you’re off the pitch. I’ve done work in Valdebebas [the training ground] and at home to get there.
“In my head I’m ready, but now I have to see on the pitch. It’s a great game and if I have to play tomorrow, I will give everything.
“The team knows how to win without me, but I’ve done everything to get there. I hope I’ll be fine but we don’t have to risk it because the season is very long.”
Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti was on the same page as Benzema but left no doubt as to the importance of the striker – if he is fit, he will play.
“I have to listen and make the decision,” he added. “He already has the medical discharge.
“He has trained by running and sprinting, but you have to see the feeling [on the pitch]. The coach has to wait to see what he says.
“The player has not played for a month, but it’s Karim. If he’s okay, he has to play.”
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