Cassano to return to Real squad next week

February 19, 2007

MADRID, Feb 19 (Reuters) - Out-of-favour Italy striker Antonio Cassano will return to the Real Madrid squad next week after showing an improvement in fitness and attitude, coach Fabio Capello said on Monday.

'He's lost weight and he's training very well, Capello told a news conference at Real's training base in Valdebebas. 'He will be in the squad next week.'

Cassano was fined and banned from training with the Real squad at the end of October after criticising Capello for his failure to play him in the first team.

He resumed training the following month, but has not played for the first team since.

Cassano, who has a reputation as a fiery character and had run-ins with Capello when they were both at AS Roma, has featured in four of the club's 23 league games this season.