Eden Hazard

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Eden Hazard has surgery on fractured ankle

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MADRID — Real Madrid forward Eden Hazard underwent surgery on his right ankle in the United States on Thursday.

[ MORE: Kevin De Bruyne doubtful for Sunday’s Manchester derby ]

Madrid said team doctors supervised the operation conducted in Dallas to repair a fracture in his fibula.

“Hazard will now remain under observation until he gets the all clear to begin his rehabilitation process,” the Spanish club said.

[ MORE: Arsenal’s Lucas Torreira out indefinitely with fractured ankle ]

Hazard, Madrid’s biggest signing last year, broke his lower right leg in a loss at Levante in the Spanish league on Feb. 22. He was just returning to action after missing nearly three months because of a similar injury.

La Liga roundup: Celta spoil Hazard’s return in Real Madrid draw

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Real Madrid’s draw against relegation-battling Celta Vigo highlights La Liga’s Sunday action.

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Real Madrid 2-2 Celta Vigo 

Celta’s Santi Mina scored in 85th minute to give a depleted Celta Vigo a precious point at the Santiago Bernabeu, spoiling Eden Hazard‘s return to Real Madrid’s lineup after a notable absence.

Madrid’s eighth draw of the season moves champions Barcelona just one point behind Zinedine Zidane’s side.

Returning from ankle injury that kept his out of action for three months, Hazard returned to the pitch in fine style, leading all players on the field in chances created with three and earning a penalty that Sergio Ramos converted to put Real Madrid ahead.

Hazard – and all of his flair – left the field in the 70th minute, granting Vinicius Junior the final 20 minutes of the match.

Ramos’ sixth goal of the season builded on Toni Kroos’ left-footed strike early in the latter half of the match. Real Madrid, more or less, were cruising against Celta, who had a goal to their name following Fyodor Smolov’s early opener.

Celta, who had arrived in Madrid in 18th place and had lost their last seven at the host’s home, were destined to do the unthinkable. Denis Suarez and Mina – both utilized as substitutes – paired up for the equalizer with five minutes to go, spoiling Hazard’s return.

Elsewhere in La Liga

Sevilla 2-2 Espanyol

Leganes 0-0 Real Betis 

Athletic Bilbao 0-1 Osasuna

Hazard back in Real Madrid squad after long injury layoff

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MADRID (AP) Eden Hazard has returned to Real Madrid’s squad after being sidelined since November with an ankle injury.

Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane on Saturday included the Belgium forward in his squad ahead of Sunday’s Spanish league match against Celta Vigo at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium.

Hazard hasn’t played since injuring his ankle on Nov. 26 in a match against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League. He had been practicing with the rest of the team for the last two weeks but was yet to be included in the squad.

“We know what Hazard can add to the team,” Zidane said. “It was time to get him back.”

Madrid enters Sunday’s game tied on points with Barcelona, which edged Getafe 2-1 on Saturday.

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

Storylines aplenty as El Clasico looms in Catalonia

El Clasico Messi
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Wednesday is going to be a sneaky good day of world football.

There are three League Cup quarterfinals, a Club World Cup semi between Liverpool and Monterrey, and two rivals in Spain meeting in a rescheduled match.

Underplayed that last one, didn’t we?

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Barcelona and Real Madrid are set for a 2 p.m. ET Wednesday El Clasico at the Camp Nou in Catalonia, where the jailing of nine Catalan separatists caused an initial postponement.

The atmosphere outside the stadium will be monitored closely, as La Liga initially wanted the match switched to Madrid.

The match was originally scheduled for Oct. 26, and La Liga officials were so angry at the move of a marquee television match to midweek that they appealed to the courts.

The stakes are always high for El Clasico, and Barca’s controversial draw with Real Sociedad could see the two-time reigning champions enter the match behind Real Madrid.

The Blaugranas drew 2-2 after VAR did not decide to review a late shirt pull of Gerard Pique in the box, giving Barca 36 points. Real Madrid could climb to 38 points with a win away to Valencia at 3 p.m. ET Sunday.

An injured Eden Hazard made headlines Saturday when video emerged of his telling a Chelsea fan that he’ll return to Stamford Bridge once he’s done at Real.

Hazard looks unlikely to be ready for Wednesday, but Real’s strength this season has been its defense. Only Atletico Madrid has allowed fewer than Real’s 11 conceded goals (and the remarkable Atleti has played two more matches).

Barca’s defense has been far less impressive, allowing 20 goals. That’s not great, but 43 goals scored is a pretty great figure.

The leader? No surprise here, as Lionel Messi has a league-best 12 goals and his six assists are tied with Valencia’s Rodrigo for the top mark. That’s despite missing five matches and only going 45 minutes in two others.

That’s nuts, and the 32-year-old Ballon d’Or winner will enter the match as the all-time El Clasico goal scorer (26). If he nabs a hat trick, he’ll pass Ferenc Puskas and Paulino Alcantara for the most in El Clasico history.

Hazard has muscle tear, could miss El Clasico

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MADRID — Real Madrid midfielder Eden Hazard has a more serious right-leg injury than the bruise that was first diagnosed, and it could rule him out of El Clasico against Barcelona on Dec. 18.

[ MORE: Lampard: Pulisic can reach “top level of world football” ]

Madrid said Thursday that new tests found a micro-tear of a muscle that had gone undetected since the injury occurred on Nov. 26 in a 2-2 draw with Paris Saint-Germain.

Hazard joined Madrid from Chelsea this year on a club-record transfer of $113 million, plus add-ons. He missed the first three games of the season after injuring a thigh muscle in the preseason.

[ MORE: Ole gushes over “the best performance Rashford has had under me” ]

Madrid said it will also likely be without left back Marcelo for Saturday’s home game against Espanyol because of a muscle injury.

Madrid is in second place in the Spanish league behind Barcelona on goal difference.