Eden Hazard‘s road to full fitness has been hit by a setback with Spanish media reporting that the Real Madrid star felt pain in a previously injured area.
The 30-year-old has failed to get his Los Blancos career up and running since joining from Chelsea in a £88m switch in 2019, with a series of injuries cosigning the Belgian to long spells on the sidelines.
Hazard has missed Madrid’s last five games with a muscular injury, with the club initially confident that their star man could make a return within four to six weeks.
Eden Hazard has been hit by another injury setback this week, according to reports in Spain
The 30-year-old has been sidelined for Los Blancos’ last five games with a muscular problem
However, according to Marca, disaster has struck for the former Blues favourite. Hazard had returned to training late last month but the Spanish outlet reports that he has felt a small pain in the injured area.
As a result, Madrid’s medical department have acted to steady Hazard’s planned return to the fold, with hopes of the Belgian returning for the second leg of their Champions League round of 16 clash, scheduled for March 16, with Atalanta slim.
Zinedine Zidane has had to make do without Hazard for 16 of Madrid’s LaLiga games this season, with the Belgian’s presence sorely missed as Los Blancos bid to retain their domestic crown.
Hazard had returned to training last month but has suffered a ‘small pain’ in the injured area
As such, Los Blancos’ medical team have steadied plans for Hazard to return in the next weeks
In fact, such is Zidane’s desperation to keep Hazard fit for a consistent run of games, the 30-year-old is yet to play a full 90 minutes this season. Hazard has not played a full game since November 2019.
Hazard was earmarked as the man to fill the void at the Bernabeu following Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure for Juventus in the summer of 2019, but the Belgian has looked a shadow of the player that delighted in the Premier League.
And former Chelsea star Gus Poyet says that Hazard looked ‘older’ after almost two years in the Spanish capital.
‘It hurts me a lot. The year Cristiano Ronaldo left was the ideal time to replace him, he had had a great season with Chelsea,’ Poyet told Marca.
Zinedine Zidane’s side fear that Hazard will miss their Champions League clash with Atalanta
‘When Hazard arrived in Madrid, he suddenly looked older. I don’t think the style of play is the problem, neither is the mentality, it’s physically.
‘He has paid the price for some physical problems that have not allowed him to return and have meant he has not returned to his best conditions.
‘One of my maxims as a coach is to put players on the pitch with minimal or no excuses, and I don’t think Hazard has ever been like that.
‘There was always some excuse: he was at 60 per cent, the team was not good…
‘It’s not Zidane’s fault, the player is depending on himself to face this great challenge of turning it around.’