Karim Benzema is returning to full fitness at just the right time for Real Madrid, who will play Atletico Madrid in the Champions League final on May 28.
Coach Zinedine Zidane was relieved to see the Frenchman come back from a hamstring problem and score in Sunday’s 3-2 triumph over Valencia, a result that kept Real just a point behind Barcelona with one game to go in the race for the league title.
“He’s not been at 100 percent for a while. We’ve seen that it wasn’t easy for him physically,” Zidane told Real’s website.
“(Against Valencia) he coped with it well and without any problems. We’ve got two games left. He’s getting better every day and he’s not feeling any discomfort from his last injury.”
Benzema has missed 15 games this season through injury but has still scored 28 goals in 34 games in all competitions — close to his record of 31 goals in the 2011-12 campaign, the year Real last won La Liga.
The 28-year-old striker has found the back of the net in 20 of his 34 appearances for Real in the 2015-16 campaign, scoring six more goals than last season. Cristiano Ronaldo is Real’s leading scorer in the league with 33 goals.
Benzema is expected to start Saturday’s league season finale at Deportivo La Coruña.