Let's start with the good news: Atlético Madrid are rounding into form as 2016 beckons. Atlético have won five on the trot and have not lost since Sept. 30, a span of 11 games. The goals haven't exactly rained down on terrified opposition, and Tiago is out until April at the earliest, but Atleti sit second in La Liga and have a chance to progress in the Champions League as group winners anyway.
Atlético's success this season has been achieved through methods some did not expect them to employ. For one, the defense is watertight as ever and has made up for the lack of firepower. One of the players tipped to bang in a lot of those missing goals, Jackson Martínez, endured a rocky start to his time in Spain and received an ankle injury during the Chile-Colombia game on Nov. 12. On Wednesday, Bogotá-based radio station F.M. provided an update on the big forward's status as Atleti returned to training following Tuesday's 2-1 win over Deportiu Reus in the Copa Del Rey.
Basically, Jackson's still out. He's already missed four games due to his ankle problem and has not even returned to training, which means he will not make the trip to Los Cármenes to face Granada on Saturday and is a major doubt to face Benfica next Tuesday - the biggest game of the season for Atlético thus far.
Jackson's situation at Atleti isn't getting any better, and there are already rumors of Diego Costa coming back to the club (believe that one at your own peril). Still, though, Antoine Griezmann is firmly entrenched in the XI and Luciano Vietto's form is improving - he played well against Espanyol before scoring against Reus - meaning the €36 million man might be hard-pressed to regain his starting spot when he does return to fitness, whenever that may be.