Cristiano Ronaldo is back in Real Madrid’s squad for Tuesday’s Santiago Bernabeu Trophy clash with Galatasaray, but the injured Karim Benzema remains absent.
The pair missed Real’s Audi Cup matches in Munich earlier this month as Ronaldo was suffering a back problem while Benzema injured his thigh.
The Portugal international already returned to training last week and is now raring to go again as Madrid prepare for their La Liga opener against Sporting Gijon on Sunday.
However, Benzema’s thigh problem appears more troublesome as he will not feature against Galatasaray and is in danger for the match versus Gijon, too.
The France international’s ongoing fitness issue will be a cause for concern for head coach Rafa Benitez as he lacks any genuine alternatives for the No.9 position following Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez’s return to Manchester United after his loan spell.
Promising youngster Borja Mayoral, 18, is set to take advantage of Benzema’s absence as he has been given the nod for Tuesday’s encounter.
Meanwhile, Raphael Varane is unavailable due to muscular problems, while a leg injury is keeping Pepe out of the match versus the Istanbul giants.