Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has confirmed that forward Vinícius Júnior is fully fit and ready for the team’s upcoming LaLiga derby against Atletico Madrid on Sunday. Ancelotti assured that there is “zero risk” in including the Brazilian international in the match.
Vinícius had been sidelined since August 28 due to a hamstring injury he sustained during Madrid’s 1-0 victory against Celta Vigo.
Initially, it was expected that he would be out for six weeks, causing him to miss eight matches, including the highly anticipated derby.
However, Ancelotti revealed on Saturday that the player’s recovery had progressed faster than anticipated.
“The injury is forgotten,” Ancelotti said in his pre-match news conference on Saturday. “He’ll be in the squad. Tomorrow we’ll see what role he plays in the game.”
The Italian coach said that right-back Dani Carvajal would be absent as he “isn’t 100%,” while Ferland Mendy and Dani Ceballos are both available for selection.
“The risk is zero,” Ancelotti said when asked if he was taking a chance by bringing Vinícius back early. “If we think there’s a 1% risk tomorrow, we won’t take it. The important thing is that Vinicius has recovered.
He lacks a bit of conditioning but that’s normal.”
Real Madrid enters the upcoming match leading the La Liga table, having secured five wins in as many games. The team’s top scorer, Jude Bellingham, has already netted six goals in six appearances across all competitions.
Despite Bellingham missing training on Friday due to a stomach issue, Carlo Ancelotti has assured that there are no concerns about his availability for the match.
“It was a small thing,” Ancelotti said. “He felt ill but he’s recovered.”
“Every team has injuries,” coach Diego Simeone said. “I heard [Pep] Guardiola saying it yesterday; even the best team in the world suffers from it. With so many games, the coaches have to deal with these situations.
“Madrid and Barcelona always have great players but even so, we’ve been able to compete. We have to think about us and keep looking for the ways we’ve competed over the last 11 years.”