Real Madrid midfielder Jude Bellingham will undergo a fitness assessment on Wednesday ahead of the club’s Champions League clash with Braga, but the Englishman remains a doubt.
Bellingham suffered an awkward fall early in the weekend’s 0-0 draw with Rayo Vallecano. He completed the full game but appeared to be in visible discomfort with his shoulder and it is perhaps no coincidence that Madrid failed to find the net for the first time this season.
The 20-year-old has been a revelation since his summer arrival from Borussia Dortmund, thriving in a more advanced ‘number 10’ role and scoring 13 times in his first 13 appearances.
Bellingham was due for shoulder tests on Monday in the wake of the Rayo Vallecano game. Ancelotti confirmed at the time: “I don’t think it is anything serious.”
Even so, the quick turnaround before Madrid are back in action could work against him.
Bellingham was back in training on Tuesday but avoided full contact in the session.
“I don’t know if Bellingham is going to play [against Braga]. He trained today and he’s pretty good. He didn’t do all the training to avoid bumping his shoulder,” Ancelotti said.
“In all the movements today, he felt good. I will evaluate it with him [on Wednesday].”
Bellingham’s 16 goal involvements, including three assists, account for 29 of Madrid’s total output across both La Liga and the Champions League – or 55% to put a number on his importance.
His potential absence against Braga wouldn’t be disastrous as Madrid have won all three group games so far and would seal qualification for the knockouts with two games to spare with even just a draw. Leaving Bellingham out of this one for additional recovery time could be a risk worth taking.
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