Zidane enthused by Bale return


Real Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane can call on Gareth Bale and Marcelo for Saturday's La Liga clash with Celta Vigo, although Luka Modric and Toni Kroos are absent.

Bale has not played since the win over Sporting Gijon in January after suffering a recurrence of a calf problem but has rejoined the squad ahead of this weekend's clash at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Marcelo is also back involved following a calf injury, while Modric (ankle) and Kroos (flu) miss out.

Zidane has been buoyed by Bale's return but said he would not take risks with the other three ahead of their Champions League last-16 second leg with Roma at the Bernabeu next week.

"Bale is going to come into the group and that's a joy for everyone," said Zidane, whose side boast a 2-0 lead in the tie with Roma. "Then we'll see how it goes with this issue.

"The important thing is to be with Real Madrid, in the team, and then we will see.

"Modric does not come onto the list. Marcelo, yes. I do not want to take risks because we have Tuesday's game. Kroos is not called up against Celta because he has fever and flu.

"The injuries will not change anything, we have other players. It is time for those who play less to come into play."

In the absence of Bale and Karim Benzema, James Rodriguez has been a more regular feature than under Zidane's predecessor Rafael Benitez.

The Colombian has attracted criticism for his performances as well as off-field issues but Zidane says it has been over the top.

"I think it has been excessive," he added. "But they already know that when you win, nice things are said and when you lose, they already know what happens.

"He's doing well. James is committed."