For the first time this season Keylor Navas will be part of a matchday squad on Saturday as the Costa Rican returns from an Achilles injury.
The goalkeeper has been out since the Champions League final but has now fully recovered ahead of the trip to Gran Canaria to face Las Palmas.
Whether or not Navas will start on Saturday is still to be determined with Zinedine Zidane said to be happy with the displays of Kiko Casilla during his time deputising for the former Levante keeper.
Part of Zidane’s modus operandi this season has been not to risk players with fitness complaints and the Frenchman has been rather vocal about this policy.
As such it may be expected that returning goalkeeper will not start but the fact he is ready to be part of a squad is positive news in itself.
Such is the French coach’s huge faith in Navas, which was a significant part of the reason why the club didn’t pursue David de Gea this summer, it isn’t expected to be long before he returns to the starting line-up in any event.
Casilla’s return to the backup position will be handled delicately with a definitive decision likely to come in the next LaLiga matchday.
It has been a long 118 days since his last appearance and he has been working tirelessly for three and a half months to return to football after surgery completed by Dr. Niek van Dijk.
Health wise he has been considered recovered for a number of weeks now yet the club’s goalkeeping coach Luis Llopis felt it would be beneficial to hand the stopper a pre-season programme to help propel him back to 100%.