Hazard returns from fractured ankle as Real Madrid resume training after coronavirus


Eden Hazard has returned from a spell on the sidelines with a fractured ankle, reporting for duty on Monday as Real Madrid resumed training ahead of the possible resumption of the 2019-20 campaign next month.

Hazard suffered the injury during a 1-0 defeat against Levante on February 22, and was forced to undergo surgery just before the season was postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The 29-year-old has been following a strict rehabilitation programme while in quarantine, with Madrid players forced to comply with social distancing rules amid a countrywide lockdown in Spain.

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Belgium boss Roberto Martinez revealed that Hazard was almost ready to start running again when issuing an update on the winger's progress last month, after initial fears he could be out of action for at least four months.

He has made even greater strides forward since then, and was pictured taking part in a training session with the rest of his Madrid colleagues at the start of the week.

An official statement on the club's official website reads: "The players have been working out since 10am under the direction of Zinedine Zidane and the strict health rules of the LFP protocol for the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Divided into two shifts and on various pitches, the Real Madrid players perform their first individual exercises with and without the ball."

Madrid welcomed all players and staff back to Santiago Bernabeu last Wednesday for medical evaluations, with La Liga officials planning to restart the season in June.

Zinedine Zidane's men sat second in the Spanish top flight before play was stopped in March, two points behind reigning champions Barcelona with 11 fixtures remaining.

Hazard has only featured in 10 La Liga matches for Madrid this season, scoring once, with plenty of questions asked over his form and fitness since last summer's €100 million (Β£88m/$108m) transfer from Chelsea.

The Belgium international admitted that his first year at the Bernabeu has been a disappointment shortly after being cut down through injury, but vowed to come back in "good shape" after a frustrating period of "adaptation" .

"My first season at Madrid is bad, but not everything is bad," Hazard told  RTBF .

"It is an adaptation season. I will be judged in the second. It is up to me to be in good shape next year.

"The group is good, I have met new people. For me, it is a great experience. I still have four years on my contract, I hope to be in good shape."

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