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Benzema back in training ahead of Madrid derby

Karim Benzema has returned to full training with Real Madrid ahead of Saturday's derby with Atletico Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu.

The French striker missed Sunday's 1-1 draw with Malaga due to a hip problem as Zinedine Zidane's men slipped further off the pace in La Liga's title race.

Madrid sit a point behind second-placed Atletico and nine adrift of leaders Barcelona but have Benzema back fit as they look leapfrog their cross-city rivals and keep their slim title hopes alive.

The 28-year-old trained with Zidane's squad on Thursday, although Gareth Bale and Pepe look set to be absent again this weekend with calf and foot problems respectively.

Benzema was on target in the reverse fixture against Atletico in October as the sides drew 1-1 at the Vicente Calderon.