MADRID: Atletico Madrid have been delivered a defensive boost after Lucas Hernandez was declared fit to face Levante in La Liga on Sunday.
The Frenchman has not played for Atletico since December 8 after injuring his knee in a match against Alaves.
“Lucas Hernandez has received this Saturday the medical discharge after the last training session of our team before the game this Sunday against Levante at the Wanda Metropolitano,” a club statement read.
Atletico sit second in the table, five points behind breakaway leaders Barcelona.
“Lucas will be in the squad, then we will decide (about the team),” Diego Simeone added in a press conference. “He’s good, strong and hopefully back to the level he had when he left us. We need him.”
Atletico have been hit by a number of absentees in recent weeks. They will still be without injured duo Diego Costa and Filipe Luis against Levante, as well as Saul Niguez, who is suspended.
Simeone will also be hoping the club hold onto their star players this month. Goalkeeper Jan Oblak and Hernandez both have release clauses, reportedly set at around 100 and 80 million euros respectively, while Diego Godin’s contract expires in the summer.
Asked if he could be overridden by the club, Simeone said: “It’s normal, the club is above all of us.
“If the club improves, the team improves. So far we have gone hand in hand in the best way. We have grown with some players not arriving and with some others staying, but always the needs of the club are the priority.”