MADRID – Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane said he will resist rushing Eden Hazard back from injury as he played down hopes of the Belgian making his long-awaited first start for the club when they host Levante in La Liga on Saturday.
Hazard, who joined Real from Chelsea for a reported 100 million euros ($111 million) in the close season, has missed the club’s opening three league games with a thigh injury.
Zidane’s side have struggled, with draws against Real Valladolid and Villarreal following on from their opening-day victory against Celta Vigo, leaving them fifth in the table with five points.
They are already four points behind league leaders and city rivals Atletico Madrid.
With playmaker Isco out injured and forward Gareth Bale suspended, it had been hoped that Hazard would take the reins as the team’s talisman, however Zidane cautioned that Real's new number seven would need time.