MADRID (AP) Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos has recovered from a broken nose and been cleared to play in the Spanish league this weekend.
The defender, wearing a protective mask, trained fully and was available to face Athletic Bilbao on Saturday, coach Zinedine Zidane said on Friday.
Ramos was injured two weeks ago in the derby against Atletico Madrid, and missed three matches.
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Right back Dani Carvajal has also regained his fitness and is likely to return on Saturday.
Gareth Bale, however, is out again because of a muscle injury. Bale returned to action on Tuesday in the Copa del Rey against Fuenlabrada, helping to set up two goals, but felt discomfort again and has not practiced.
”It’s not something serious but we don’t want to take any risks,” Zidane said. ”He hasn’t played for a long time, so it’s tough for him. I don’t know when he will be available again. He will overcome this.”
Bale has played only 10 matches for Madrid this season and missed the final World Cup qualifiers for Wales, which failed to qualify.
Madrid is fourth in the league, eight points behind leader Barcelona.
Athletic, 16th in the 20-team standings, is winless in five league games and is coming off Copa del Rey elimination by third-division club Formentera.
On Saturday, Barcelona hosts a Celta Vigo team it has struggled against recently. The teams have split their last four matches.
”We have to be cautious,” Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde said on Friday.
Third-place Atletico Madrid hosts Real Sociedad on Saturday to try to extend its three-match winning streak in all competitions.
”Our defense had been playing well, but now the offense has been doing a god job as well,” Atletico coach Diego Simeone said.
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