Eder Militao returns for Real Madrid after ACL injury

Eder Militao returns for Real Madrid after ACL injury

Real Madrid were handed a huge boost as defender Eder Militao made his first appearance on Sunday after having suffered an ACL injury at the start of the season. The Brazilian defender came on in the stoppage time of their 2-0 win over Athletic Bilbao at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Militao started Real Madrid’s first game of the 2023-24 campaign against Athletic Bilbao away but suffered an ACL injury after 50 minutes. He has been out of action since then. It was a big blow for Los Blancos as goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois had suffered an ACL injury in pre-season as well.

Moreover, another centre-back David Alaba suffered an ACL injury in December, leaving the club with just Antonio Rudiger and Nacho Fernandez as their main defenders. Aurelien Tchouameni also deputized in the position at times.

Militao returned to the pitch for the first time on Sunday and was on for around two minutes. He didn’t get any touch of the ball but just his return was met with a huge applause and emotion from fans and teammates alike.

Militao joined Real Madrid from FC Porto in 2019 and has made 143 appearances for them and also contributed 11 goals and five assists. He has won two La Liga titles and one UEFA Champions League trophy with them.

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Carlo Ancelotti on Eder Militao’s return for Real Madrid

Manager Carlo Ancelotti shared his thoughts on Militao’s return from his ACL injury and said (via Managing Madrid):

“He has played very little, but it was very important for him and for us that he returned. In this final stretch of the season, we need everyone and above all a defender as strong as Militao.

“We are talking about one of the best defenders in the world. He needs time to better adjust to playing again. But the fact that he is with us is going to improve him. We are going to need him in the next games. After so much time away, the emotion is enormous. Everyone has congratulated him.”

Militao is unlikely to jump straight into action for now. He will make small cameos in games as he builds his fitness after a long time out.

Real Madrid will next face Manchester City at home in the Champions League quarter-final first leg on April 9. Ancelotti is likely to stick with the combination of Antonio Rudiger and Nacho Fernandez at the back for the clash. He could also replace Nacho with Tchouameni due to the latter’s superior ball-playing ability.

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