Antonio Rudiger is all set to make his very first appearance for Real Madrid on Sunday.
In the early hours of the morning UK time, Los Blancos do battle with Spanish rivals Barcelona at the Allegiant Stadium in Paradise, Las Vegas.
It’ll be the first of three 2022/23 pre-season outings for Carlo Ancelotti’s Champions League-winning side, the other two pitting them against Club America and Juventus.
Both Rudiger and fellow summer signing Aurélien Tchouaméni will likely get at least 45 minutes under their belts versus Barcelona in the testing Nevada desert heat.
However, one man who is now a doubt for the pre-season El Clasico is Eden Hazard after an incident in training which involved Rudiger.
The Belgian forward – who has been plagued with injuries since joining Real Madrid in 2019 – was on the receiving end of a painful tackle from his former Chelsea
Rudiger made clear contact with Hazard’s right ankle and the forward looked in some discomfort as he hit the deck.
Check out footage of the tackle here…
The reaction from the players said it all. They know what Hazard has gone through injury-wise and were clearly worried that he’d suffered yet another setback.
It does look as if it was a complete accident, because Rudiger appeared to step on the ball, but that doesn’t make the contact on Hazard’s ankle any less concerning.
According to Spanish publication Marca, the Belgium international’s participation in the meeting with Barcelona is now in jeopardy.
Hazard was able to continue with the rondo after being wiped out by Rudiger, however, he did not complete the preparatory training session in its entirety.
We really hope the Chelsea icon is able to play against Barcelona, as the footballing world deserves to see a fully fit version of him at the Santiago Bernabeu in 2022/23.
In a recent interview with ESPN, Hazard stated that he’s struggled to understand why his body has succumb to so many injuries since arriving at Real Madrid.
“It’s not that easy, especially when you don’t know why you’re injured,” he said. “I’ve been injured at my time at Chelsea, but not like those three years with Real Madrid. I knew that it was something wrong with my body, so that’s why I asked to do the surgery at the end of the season last year.”
Fingers crossed for you, Eden.
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