Carlo Ancelotti plays down Vinicius Junior injury fears

Real Madrid head coach Carlo Ancelotti plays down fears that Vinicius Junior suffered a potentially long-term injury against Celta Vigo.

Real Madrid head coach Carlo Ancelotti is expecting to have Vinicius Junior available for selection once again after the September international break.

The Brazil international was replaced in the early stages of Friday’s 1-0 win over Celta Vigo, and there were initially fears that the injury could keep him on the sidelines for an extended period.

However, Ancelotti has suggested that the issue is only minor, and while he is unlikely to feature against Getafe next weekend, the forward should be back for the clash with Real Sociedad on September 16.

“Vinicius had a niggle in the first half and we changed him. We’ll see what it is in the next few hours, it looks like some discomfort in the muscle in his leg,” Ancelotti said on Friday night.

“Vini Jr. wanted to continue and I don’t think it was too serious. He tried and it was niggling him a little bit, so we made the decision to replace him. I don’t think he’ll play against Getafe and the break will help him to recover for when we play again.

Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti on August 19, 2023© Reuters

“He had a good start to the game, he seemed unstoppable. It’s a shame. We found it more difficult without him, but also due to the fact that they played very well at the back.”

Jude Bellingham continued his excellent start to his Real Madrid career with the only goal of the match against Celta, and the Englishman has now netted four times in three league appearances for Los Blancos.

“Bellingham is doing very well, he keeps scoring and contributing to the team,” said Ancelotti after the match when questioned on the big-money arrival from Borussia Dortmund.

“Goals aren’t his biggest quality but he’s doing well. He is good off the ball, he’s intelligent and his timing is good. He’s got a lot of ability on the edge of the area.”

Real Madrid midfielder Jude Bellingham celebrates scoring against Almeria on August 19, 2023© Reuters

Ancelotti also opened up on Kepa Arrizabalaga‘s debut for the club, with the Spaniard being given the nod between the sticks over Andriy Lunin following his recent arrival on loan from Chelsea.

“Kepa played well and we struggled a bit at the back at the beginning and it was difficult for us, but the team played well,” added the Italian.

“A clean sheet is a good sign. This wasn’t a victory purely based on quality, but rather on commitment. There were some negatives, but we battled until the end.

“He deserved to play, we’ve been well covered by Lunin and Kepa in the last three games. We’ll see about the next game.”

Real Madrid currently have six players on the sidelines through injury, with Vinicius joining Thibaut Courtois, Eder Militao, Arda Guler, Dani Ceballos and Ferland Mendy in the treatment room.

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