Real Madrid star Marcelo is set to be fully fit for the next week's Champions League trip to Paris Saint-Germain after Zinedine Zidane confirmed that the Brazilian left-back could even be return to action when Los Blancos take on Getafe on Saturday (3 March).
But the France boss admitted that Luka Modric and Toni Kroos's participation in the second leg of the Champions League last-16 on Tuesday 6 March remains doubtful with the midfielder duo yet to recover from their respective injuries.
Marcelo has been on the sidelines since suffering a muscle injury in the biceps femoris of the right leg during the 5-3 win over Real Betis on 18 February.
But Real revealed that he and long-term absentee Jesus Vallejo returned to full training on Thursday (1 March) and Zidane has now claimed that the Brazilian could even play against Getafe in order to build up his fitness for the trip to Paris.
However, the manager was less optimistic about the recovery of Kroos and Modric with the duo yet to return to training due to their respective knee and leg injuries.
"The important thing is that Marcelo is available tomorrow and we'll see about the others. The way the players feel is the most important thing and I want the players to be 100%," the Real boss said in his press conference ahead of the Saturday's clash with Getafe.
PSG boss Unai Emery also been handed a major blow ahead of the game with former Barcelona ace Neymar set to miss the game due to a foot injury which will require surgery.
Yet, Zidane warned that the Ligue 1 side have the squad to cope without Neymar and doesn't expect and easy tie despite his side having a 3-1 advantage from the first leg.
"We feel sorry for Neymar but PSG are a strong team and whoever replaces him will be good for sure. We don't expect the game to be easy, not at all. It's a round of 16 Champions League match and we'll have to be at 200%, whoever plays. Neymar's replace will do well because he'll want to prove his worth to the team," Zidane added.
The loss against Espanyol has left Real 15 points behind leaders Barcelona in the La Liga table but Zidane is convinced that Los Blancos can still challenge for the title.
Yet, the France boss pointed out that Barcelona had an 11-point cushion over Atletico Madrid earlier last month but had seen that gap reduced to only five following a number of disappointing results during the month of February.
"You think that the league is over for us but football is like that and every league match is important. The title will go down to the wire and we'll fight until the end. It's difficult but not impossible. I'm an optimist until the end," Zidane added.
Zidane lamented Real's latest defeat to Espanyol and urged his side to bounce back against Getafe with Los Blancos having the chance to take advantage of the Sunday's clash between Barcelona and Atletico at the Nou Camp to reduce the gap at the top of the table.
"We're angry about losing on Tuesday [27 February] and I'm even more so after Barcelona's draw yesterday. You have to be focused until the very last minute and we're not giving in until the end. We had a run of five wins in a row, so you can't always just focus on the bad results. We have to stick with what we've been doing well," Zidane concluded.
"We want to do all we can to get the win and leave everything on the field. We have to put everything in to tomorrow's game. We're coming up against teams who're really motivated and fully focused. For a lot of them it's the biggest game of the year and we must approach it the same, it must be the game of the year for us too. We're only thinking about winning the game against Getafe,
"We have to play well tomorrow and then we'll have time to turn our attention to Tuesday. We have to win games to hope we'll win something at the end of the season. Every three days we have a match and we have to win them all. If we always go out with a winning mentality, motivated and always thinking about the next game, we can achieve something."