Real Madrid have been tipped to delay the injury return of Vinicius Junior until the latter half of October, contrary to reports in Spain earlier in the week.
Vinicius, who was among the 2023 Ballon d’Or nominees revealed on Wednesday evening, hasn’t plated since limping out of Madrid’s La Liga win over Celta Vigo last month.
His hamstring injury had originally been expected to keep the Brazilian sidelined for at least six weeks. But there was renewed optimism when a report from Marca suggested the city derby against Atletico at Wanda Metropolitano on 24 September was being targeted for his return.
The following day, AS disagreed and claimed that more caution is now being taken. His original return date was around a week into October and Osasuna’s visit to the Bernabeu. Instead, that could still be considered a risk and a return to club action at that point could also then mean a Brazil call-up later that month for 2026 World Cup qualifiers in South America.
Madrid might be better served slowing down Vini’s return until after the October international break, giving him more time to properly recover and regain fitness, and targeting the team’s trip to Sevilla on 22 October. It means a longer absence, but potentially less risk of future setbacks.
Vinicius played most of Madrid’s two opening La Liga wins over Athletic Club and Almeria last month, scoring against the latter. But the team have continued to win in his absence, largely thanks to summer signing Jude Bellingham, who has been flying.
Bellingham, not signed to score all the goals himself, has netted five times in his first four La Liga outings to match Cristiano Ronaldo’s prolific start to life in Spain back in 2009. In fact, accounting for an assist as well, the Englishman has been directly involved in 75% of all Madrid’s goals so far.