When Luka Modric suffered a thigh injury back in November whilst on international duty, little could he have expected the fate that would befall his colleagues during his enforced sabbatical.
Prior to his injury, Real were cruising in all competitions, wiping the floor with all and sundry.
The league was very much theirs to lose given that they were in the midst of a club record breaking run of consecutive wins and the style of football being played was breathtaking at times.
Article continues below
Cristiano Ronaldo, who else, was the main beneficiary of Modric's intelligent passing range, and the Pichichi trophy was as good as over at this point. Life was indeed good if you were a Madridista.
And then, disaster.
Article continues below
Modric's injury was a bitter blow however the full extent of his absence wouldn't become clear for some weeks.
Looking back now, on the eve of his return to the side, it's entirely reasonable to conclude that the loss of the Croatian has been almost fatal to Los Blancos chances of success this season.
What now for Isco?
One noted flip side is that, finally, Isco has had a chance to emerge from the shadows and provide similar excellence to that which he showed at Malaga and which prompted Real to pay in the region of £30m in the first place.
As good as he has been, and boy has he been unplayable in some fixtures, there has still been a sense of him only being there to keep the seat warm for when Modric is ready to claim his place again.
It would be harsh on young Isco, but Carlo Ancelotti needs a spark from somewhere. Something different to ignite his side again for the run in.
Timed to perfection
As it is, in the space of the last fortnight, Real have now ceded first place to their arch rivals Barcelona.
Assuming the Catalans beat Eibar in their next fixture, a team that have lost their last seven games incidentally, then they will approach a Camp Nou El Clasico from the summit of La Liga. Something that will have seemed impossible as we entered the month of March.
Therefore, Modric's comeback couldn't have been better timed, followed by Sergio Ramos in a weeks' time.
Manager Carlo Ancelotti has been impressed enough in training to know that Modric's transition from treatment table to turf will be seamless and he'll therefore be expecting instant dividends from the Croatian.
The penetrative and direct running, to free up Messrs. Ronaldo and Bale down the flanks. The ever-so-accurate passing quality that is like the incision of a surgeon's knife.
The instinct to know when to play the pass or to go it alone. The ability to get in between the lines of even the most tactically aware opposition.
Modric has it all.
It will therefore be a huge surprise if there wasn't an immediate upgrade on Real's 2015 form once he is back in-situ.
With everyone now talking up Barca, seeing Modric back in the all-white can't come soon enough.