MADRID (Reuters) - Atletico Madrid midfielder Saul Niguez has recovered from a painful blow to the kidneys and will start for the champions in Saturday’s La Liga game at bottom side Cordoba, coach Diego Simeone said on Friday.
Saul sustained the injury in the Champions League defeat at Bayer Leverkusen at the end of February and had to remain behind in Germany for treatment after the game.
“He is in very good shape,” Simeone said of the 20-year-old Spaniard.
“He is an important player for us and we have always said that,” the Argentine told reporters.
”Hopefully, tomorrow he can return in the same state as he left us in Germany, where he was participating very well.
”He gets into very good scoring positions, works well in the middle, knows what we want from him and is very competitive.
“We need his talents and tomorrow we hope he can respond in the way he was before he got injured.”
A win for fourth-placed Atletico in Andalucia would lift them above Valencia into Spain’s third automatic Champions League berth and close the gap on second-placed Real Madrid to two points.
Valencia host sixth-placed Villarreal on Sunday, when leaders Barcelona, four points clear of Real at the top, are at Celta Vigo and Real host Granada.
Reporting by Iain Rogers, editing by Ed Osmond