Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric has stepped up his road to recovery this week after spending the whole of October so far sidelined with a knee injury.
The Croatian maestro, who recently committed his long-term future to Los Blancos with a new four-year contract, hasn't played since the 2-2 Champions League draw with Borussia Dortmund in September but was put through his paces by coaching staff on Monday.
Real have won their last three games without Modric, although he was missed in the first game of his absence when the team could only manage a 1-1 draw against Eibar.
Real have a Copa del Rey clash with lower league Cultural Leonesa to contend with this week, before rounding off the month with an away trip to the Basque region to faceAlaves..
Modric could be back for the latter, but should definitely be back in the fold by November when there are Champions League games against Legia Warsaw and Sporting CP, as well La Liga clashes with Leganes, Sporting Gijon and the Madrid derby against Atletico.
On the same day that he stepped up his training load, Modric was honoured at the annual La Liga gala where he was named Best Midfielder for 2015/16.
"I'm really honoured to receive this award. Thank you to La Liga, everyone who voted for me and to my teammates, who deserve real credit for this award," he said at the ceremony in Valencia.
Only hours earlier, the 31-year-old was named among the 30-man long-list for the 2016 Ballon d'Or. Real team-mates Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo, Toni Kroos, Pepe and Sergio Ramos have also been nominated for world football's top individual prize.
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