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Vinicius Junior makes fitness decision ahead of Mallorca clash


Real Madrid forward Vinicius Junior has declared himself fit ahead of La Liga’s return from the winter break, having recovered from a thigh muscle injury suffered in November.

Vinicius tore his left thigh while in action for Brazil in a World Cup qualifier against Colombia, forcing him to miss Madrid’s last seven games of 2023 across all competitions.

The 23-year-old hasn’t featured for his club since netting twice in a 5-1 demolition of Valencia in La Liga on 11 November and was expected to be sidelined until February, but he has revealed that he is now ready to play again and will leave the decision over exactly when in the hands of Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti.

“I’m fine, very good. Now all that’s left is for the coach to choose,” Vinicius told Real Madrid TV. “I’m fine now and ready to go. What remains of the season… I ask that in 2024 we can win many titles.”

After some time off for Spanish football’s winter break, Madrid are back in action on Wednesday evening for the visit of Mallorca to the Santiago Bernabeu in La Liga.

Vinicius Junior

Vinicius Junior travelled to America to watch basketball during La Liga’s winter break / Allen Berezovsky/GettyImages

Games in multiple competitions come quickly after that, with a trip to face fourth tier Arandina in the Copa del Rey, followed by the Supercopa de Espana in Saudi Arabia and further La Liga encounters with Almeria (home) and Las Palmas (away) before the end of January. Two more rounds of the Copa del Rey will also be squeezed in this month should Madrid progress as expected.

Madrid have managed to get through Vinicius’ absence unscathed, winning six of their seven games without him to finish the calendar year top of La Liga and seeded in the Champions League last 16.

Although Jude Bellingham has continued to find the net at a consistent rate, goals have been increasingly shared round, with Rodrygo, Joselu, Dani Ceballos and Brahim Diaz chipping in with multiple strikes in recent weeks.

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