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Real Madrid handed fitness boost ahead of Copa del Rey final

Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has delivered an encouraging fitness update on long-serving stalwart Luka Modric ahead of Tuesday’s trip to Real Sociedad.

The 37-year-old picked up a muscle injury during his team’s woeful 4-2 defeat at Girona last week and had to remain on the sidelines as Los Blancos thumped Almeria at home via an identical scoreline at the weekend.

Although the Ballon d’Or winner was initially expected to miss out on the upcoming Copa del Rey final against Osasuna and potentially even skip the Champions League semi-final tie against Manchester City, Ancelotti insists he’ll be ready for the title decider.

During a press conference in the build-up to Madrid’s trip to San Sebastian to encounter La Liga top-four hopefuls, the Italian manager admitted he received ‘good news’ about Modric’s recovery.

While Tuesday’s showdown at Reale Arena will come too soon for the best Croatian player in all likelihood, there’s a chance he’ll be ready to help his side lift their first Copa del Rey title since 2014 on Saturday.

“We’ve got good news with Modric – it’s possible he’s ready for the game on Saturday,” Ancelotti said, as relayed by The Athletic.

“[Eder] Militao is fine, he had a personal issue, he came back when training started – tomorrow he will start. [David] Alaba is not available, but like Modric, he can be available for Saturday’s game.

“With [Federico] Valverde, we have to evaluate, today he has done some work.”

Madrid will take on Imanol Alguacil’s team severely crippled by suspensions, with Eduardo Camavinga and Vinicius Junior also unavailable for selection after accumulating yellow cards.

Victory on Tuesday would see Los Merengues secure Champions League qualification with five games to spare.

Despite sharing the spoils in a drab 0-0 draw in the reverse fixture in the capital, Ancelotti’s side will take the field in high spirits after going unbeaten in their last seven league meetings with Sociedad (W4, D3).

Adding to Madrid’s confidence, they have registered back-to-back La Liga shut-outs at Reale Arena, indicating Modric’s services may not be needed to take home three points.

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