Atletico Madrid striker Mario Mandzukic is still bruised from a physical Champions League quarter-final first leg against Real Madrid but is expected to be fit for the return at the Bernabeu on Wednesday, said coach Diego Simeone.
The Croatian suffered a cut to the top of the nose from an elbow by Sergio Ramos and fellow Real defender Dani Carvajal punched him in the stomach, an incident unseen by the referee, during the clash at the Calderon that ended 0-0.
Mandzukic also suffered an ankle injury that forced him to miss Saturday’s 2-1 win at Deportivo La Coruna in La Liga but he is now back in training although showing the marks of his encounter with Ramos.
“We had a training session yesterday with two groups where we were making changes and he was fine,” Simeone told a news conference on Tuesday.
“We now have another training session where we expect him to be okay and I will base my plan, which I have fairly clearly in mind, around that.”
Mandzukic is favourite, ahead of Fernando Torres, to play in attack alongside Antoine Griezmann who took his time to settle in at Atletico but is now in a rich vein of form.
“He has developed a lot since he arrived and the goals that he has scored in La Liga show that,” said Simeone.
France international Griezmann hit both goals against Deportivo and has 20 in La Liga.
“He has adapted to a new position very well and is starting to show his potential. He is still young and he can improve but he is on the right lines to do that,” added Simeone.