Real Madrid: Dani Carvajal’s return will be huge for a reeling team

Daniel Carvajal of Real Madrid (Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images)
Daniel Carvajal of Real Madrid (Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images) /

Real Madrid right back Dani Carvajal will return sooner than expected from his knee injury, and that’s a rare bit of good news for Los Blancos.

Positive updates are hard to come by for Real Madrid right now. Having already lost 4-1 to Valencia before the international break with injuries to Fede Valverde and Karim Benzema, Real center backs Raphael Varane and Sergio Ramos both sustained injuries on Tuesday during international duty.

Eder Militao, Eden Hazard, and Casemiro were all questionable for Saturday’s match against Villarreal due to positive COVID-19 tests, adding to the uncertainty before the road match against La Liga’s second-place team.

But the longest-standing significant injury for Real Madrid is Dani Carvajal‘s. The right back’s absence has been felt by all members of the defense and by right winger Marco Asensio. Carvajal has set a benchmark at the right back position for years as a strong defender and quality supportive attacking fullback.

The good news is that Carvajal looks ready to return from his MCL injury sooner than expected. MARCA’s Huge Cerezo even writes that the 28-year-old is drawing so close to a return that he could even be ready to play against Villarreal.

In Carvajal’s absence, Real Madrid have been forced to play Nacho Fernandez and Lucas Vazquez at right back, as Alvaro Odriozola was also injured. Nacho himself suffered an injury in El Clasico, ushering in Vazquez, who played an excellent second-half at Barcelona. Since then, however, Vazquez has shown why he’s no right back. He works hard, but he just isn’t a talented enough defensive player.

Carvajal’s absence has been felt by so many players, and he could give Real a huge boost. Los Blancos are in fourth place in La Liga and are still third in their Champions League group. So they could really use a lift from their star right back.

Even if Carvajal cannot play at the Estadio de la Ceramica, a return the following week against Inter Milan in the Champions League at the San Siro would be equally huge.

Real Madrid will also start December with a string of difficult games all in a row against Shakhtar Donetsk on the road, Sevilla at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, Borussia Monchengladbach, and Atletico Madrid.

Initially, Carvajal was expected to be out for some of those games, but, now, it looks like he’ll almost certainly be ready for action in December.

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The Villarreal match is huge, but if Carvajal needs to be rested a little more before returning, that might be better in the long run. Because Real Madrid have some more big games coming up and need Carvajal badly. His return from injury and his continued health are vital to Los Blancos’ 2020-2021 success.