Real Madrid: James Rodriguez expected to return in 2020

Real Madrid attacking midfielder James Rodriguez has been out since the November international break with a knee injury, and he’s not expected to return against Athletic Bilbao.

After being shopped on the transfer market, James Rodriguez stayed with Real Madrid for a second stint following the completion of his loan to Bayern Munich. A devastating preseason injury to Marco Asensio sealed James’ place at Real, and he earned regular playing time with some key performances in September against Levante and Sevilla.

But since then, James has fallen down the pecking order at the Bernabeu due to more injuries, which continue to hamper the Colombian’s ability to show his star quality. James has been out since the November international break with a knee injury he picked up in training with Colombia.

Although James continues to make strides in his recovery and is now training with the group, he’s not expected to suit up in Madrid’s final game before the holiday break.

MARCA reports that James Rodriguez will return to the Real Madrid lineup in 2020, as Los Blancos will face Getafe on Jan. 4 after the holidays.

There’s no guarantee James will obtain regular playing time once he returns, though. Isco has stepped up his performances as Real’s creative outlet, bouncing back from a mediocre display against Valencia to produce another strong outing at El Clasico. Meanwhile, veterans Toni Kroos and Luka Modric have excelled in attacking roles, while Asensio will be back from his injury at some point.

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Still, James has quality, and his return would be important to Los Blancos’ depth. His ability to find the killer pass – or the back of the net – will be welcomed by Zinedine Zidane, even if he’ll have to scratch and claw for every opportunity at the starting XI.

It’s good to hear word that James Rodriguez continues to progress from his knee injury, but fans should not expect to see him on Sunday night at the Bernabeu against seventh place Athletic Bilbao. We’re still a couple of weeks away from seeing James fit enough to compete in matches.