Yannick Ferreira Carrasco has handed Atletico Madrid a massive boost after receiving medical clearance to play the first leg of the Champions League semi-finals with Real Madrid on Tuesday night.
However, Juanfran, Šime Vrsaljko, Jose Maria Giménez and long-term casualty Augusto Fernández have failed to make Diego Simeone’s 18-man squad due to different injuries.
Carrasco, 23, was expected to miss the trip to Real Madrid after suffering an acromioclavicular joint sprain during his side 1-0 defeat to Villarreal on 25 April.
Original reports in Spain said that the pacy winger was going to be out of action for around two weeks, ruling him out for the first leg at the Santiago Bernabeu while being also a major doubt for the reverse fixture at the Vicente Calderon on 10 May .
However, the former Monaco star returned to training on Sunday and has been given the all clear by the Atletico doctors to face Real Madrid on Tuesday night.
“Yannick Carrasco has been given the all clear this Monday after our team’s training at the Santiago Bernabéu,” Atletico confirmed. “The international Belgian was getting hurt before the Villarreal. The medical report indicated that the Atlético player suffered ‘a grade I acromioclavicular joint.’ The winger worked out this Monday with his teammates normally and will be available for Simeone this Tuesday.”
Simeone has thus included Carrasco in his 18-man squad to face Real Madrid and the winger is expected to make the starting line-up alongside Antoine Griezmann and co.
However, the Atletico boss faces a selection headache to form his back-line as he doesn’t have any right-backs available.
Versatile Gimenez has been covering the role in recent games due to the injuries of Juanfran and Vrsaljko – his two specialists – but the Uruguay international will miss the visit to Real Madrid after suffering a thigh injury during the weekend’s win over Las Palmas.
Simeone, speaking in the press conference ahead of the game, refused to reveal his plans but it looks like Lucas or Stefan Savić could be the chosen ones despite being originally centre-backs. Thomas, a midfielder, would be the emergency third choice.
“I’m already clear on who is going to play at right-back,” Simeone said. “The fact that there are absentees is important because nobody else plays in that position, but I also understand that football is a team game. You can be without a player, but the team will still hold firm.”
The Atletico boss has also promoted centre-back Alberto Rodríguez from the second team to complete his 18-man but third keeper André Campos and out of favour Alessio Cerci have also been left out.
Source: Eduardo Fernandez-Abascal/ International Business Times