LNTUP

Zidane glad to have Bale, Navas and Kovacic back

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The returns of Gareth Bale, Keylor Navas and Mateo Kovacic left Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane pleased.

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane is happy to have Gareth Bale, Keylor Navas and Mateo Kovacic back and available after the trio made their returns.

Bale (groin), Navas (hamstring) and Kovacic (thigh) returned in Madrid’s shock 2-2 draw at home to third-tier side Fuenlabrada in the Copa del Rey on Tuesday.

Wales international Bale came off the bench to set up Madrid’s equaliser for 1-1 as the LaLiga giants reached the last 16.

Zidane is glad the trio are back and available for selection as his side look to try to catch league leaders and rivals Barcelona, who they trail by eight points.

“I’m so happy for Gareth, Keylor and Mateo because they’ve been out for a while,” the Frenchman said.

“They’re key players and seeing that they’re ready for these next games makes me happy.

“I thought that Keylor did well and he’s pleased with things. I don’t think that he could have done any better on the first goal.”

Madrid visit Athletic Bilbao on Saturday before a Champions League meeting with Borussia Dortmund.