Real Madrid midfielder returns to training

Real Madrid midfielder Mateo Kovacic has stepped up his return to first-team action after taking part in full training on Thursday, reports Marca.

Kovacic has missed Madrid’s last 12 matches after picking up a serious leg injury midway through September but is now closing in on a return to first-team action later this month.

The Croatia international managed to take part in a full training session on Thursday alongside the rest of the Madrid players that have stayed behind during the international break.

Kovacic was joined in training by the likes of Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema, Cristiano Ronaldo, Marcos Llorente, Dani Carvajal, Theo Hernandez, Lucas Vazquez and Kiko Casillas.

The 23-year-old’s return will be a welcomed boost for Zinedine Zidane following Madrid’s struggles so far this season.

Madrid are currently eight points adrift of league leaders Barcelona and will need to create history to overturn the deficit from this stage of the season and retain their title.

Not only that, but the reigning European champions look destined to finish second in their Champions League group after losing the initiative to Tottenham.

Of players the 113 players that have attempted at least 50 dribbles in La Liga since the start of last season, Kovacic has the best success rate (81.6%).