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The influential Blancos midfielder is pleased with his rate of recovery from the foot injury that has sidelined him since the start of the season

Xabi Alonso is reluctant to set a date for his return from injury but the Real Madrid midfielder says he will be back "playing soon".

The Spain international underwent a groin operation during the summer to cure a hernia problem before then seeing his hopes of returning for the start of the new season ruined when he fractured a bone in his foot.

However, Alonso has now revealed that he is nearing the end of his injury nightmare.

“I’m hoping to be playing soon. It’s been a tough summer,” Alonso told reporters.

“I decided not to go to the Confederations Cup, and to have the operation instead.

“I think it was the logical thing to do and the best approach both for me and the team, because I wasn’t going to be okay and to compete you need to be 100 per cent.

“Then, I was close to playing when I managed to break a bone in my foot. I had to stop and was using a walking frame, which meant the recovery from the hernia went backwards.

“I’m closer than ever now but I need to respect how my body is feeling and not put a time frame on it.”

When further pressed on an exact return date, the 31-year-old said: “Hopefully soon, but I’m not going to put a date on it.

“You can’t trust this injury at all, it’s vital to take it day by day. I’m close but there is still a little bit to do.

“I spend all my time talking to the doctors and we don’t want to speed up my recovery and make things worse.

“With some injuries you know that you’ll be back after a certain amount of time, but you just don’t know with a hernia, even though I feel good right now.”

Alonso joined Real Madrid from Liverpool in 2009 and since then the midfielder has plied his trade under three different managers, with the latest being Carlo Ancelotti, who was appointed in the summer.

Talking about the impact of Ancelotti, Alonso told reporters: “It’s obvious he’s been a footballer and knows what it’s like; when he talks to the players he knows how to put himself in their shoes.

“He’s still getting to know the team and the club, he’s still got lots to do, no doubt about it.”

Although Alonso will not be there to help, he is hoping that Spain can overcome Georgia in their final World Cup qualifier on Tuesday night in order to seal their place at the 2014 World Cup.

The former Reds ace admits that la Roja have not been at their best of late, but he is supremely confident that they will come good next summer.

“I’m not at all worried, because qualifying is very different due to the way our opponents set themselves up.

“I know that Spain, in the finals, when the team is focused, maybe they aren’t the most amazing games, but they are very good and very efficient and the team have shown that.

“In Brazil, with the team focused and the plan clear, anything can happen, but the team will perform well.”

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