The 28th minute of one more game, a penetration from the left before the chest of Alberto Díaz, a knee that breaks in the worst way, a fall, a scream and the rumor of Martín Carpena, with that runrún of tragedy that leave the actions that everyone intuits serious at first. It has been 13 and a half months since that February 13 not to forget and there is no trace of Carlos Alocén, a base in full takeoff then, a base to build an empire.

The worst omen, as the cliché says, was soon confirmed: complete rupture of the anterior cruciate ligament of the left knee. A few days later, on March 3, 2022, the maño, who was then 21 years old, went through the operating room at the Sanitas La Moraleja University Hospital. "His recovery period will begin shortly," Real Madrid reported about a countdown that, more than a year later, remains strangely and worryingly without an expiration date.

"The recovery process has gone well, just a little slower than normal," they reveal from their environment, which highlights their good mood, the "desire to return": "He's a tough guy." That of the six months to return to action after a break of the crusader was buried in the past, of so many relapses. In the NBA, for example, by protocol a player can not return to the courts of this type of injury until a year has passed. In the case of Alocén, who in a season and a half in white played 86 games, everything has been "slow", as also confirmed from the club. "It's been a year since I played my last match. A year of many ups and downs and complicated moments along the way, but a year of continuous learning. The road is being long, maybe something more than I expected, "confessed the player himself in his social networks.

Because Carlos, who arrived in the summer of 2020 at Real Madrid from Zaragoza as a great national promise – he had paid his clause a year earlier, but kept him on loan at his club of origin – has not even yet begun training with the group. He keeps his individual workouts, apart from his teammates, without contact, a lot of physiotherapy, strengthening and tuning work. The delay, obviously, has to do with physical discomfort that has had nothing to do with the ligament operated. But also with how complicated it is to get on a train running in the middle of the season as is the current Real Madrid. And that, in recent weeks, Chus Mateo, with Sergio Llull and Nigel Williams-Goss injured, has only been able to count on a pure director, Sergio Rodríguez. "Carlos is here to play now," they say, however.

But the outlook for Alocén is not simple. If in a few weeks he managed to enter the dynamics of Mateo's collective training, the season would be in full final battle, with the playoffs of the Endesa League – they start on May 25 – and those of a Euroleague – April 19 – just around the corner. In the domestic competition he has not been discharged, but he was registered a few days ago in the continental, just before the end of the term. Also Anthony Randolph, a similar case, although the American pivot is already, for a few days, training with the rest of his teammates. In fact, just yesterday, Chus Mateo announced that he could return this weekend in the league match against Granada, and that his cruciate ligament rupture, also in the left knee, was during the finals against Barça, on June 13, long after Alocén.

What would not be strange is that the international point guard did not play a single minute this season. Even that those 5:25 of Malaga have been his last game with Real Madrid. Because, although in no case will he leave on loan at this point, the maño ends contract on June 30 and it is Real Madrid itself that has the option of extending that relationship one more season.

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  • Real Madrid
  • Sergio Llull
  • Saragossa