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Bale and James nearing Real Madrid return

Real Madrid coach Rafael Benitez has revealed that Gareth Bale and James Rodriguez are on schedule to make their return from injury in the derby against Atletico Madrid on October 4.

Bale has not featured for Madrid since picking up a muscular problem in the 4-0 Champions League win over Shakhtar Donetsk earlier this month, while James has been sidelined since the 5-0 win versus Betis back in August.

The duo will not feature against Malaga on Saturday or versus Malmo in midweek, but could make their comeback at the Vicente Calderon next week.

"Bale and James will return to training with the group next week," Benitez said at a press conference.

"They are both recovering well. If things go well next week, they could play again versus Atletico Madrid."

The absence of Bale and James has seen Karim Benzema step into the limelight, with the Frenchman scoring five goals in four La Liga appearances, and Benitez has nothing but praise for the prolific attacker.

"Benzema can score, assist and make great runs," he added.

"He is a sensational player for us."