x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Injury could force Real Madrid’s Ronaldo to the sidelines

Club slip from first in Primera Liga to third after successive losses

Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid reacts as he fails to score during the Primera Liga match against Sevilla at Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan on March 26, 2014 in Seville, Spain. Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno / Getty Images
Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid reacts as he fails to score during the Primera Liga match against Sevilla at Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan on March 26, 2014 in Seville, Spain. Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno / Getty Images

MADRID // Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo will continue playing even though he has a minor injury but, if it gets worse, the club could be forced to rest the league’s top scorer, coach Carlo Ancelotti said on Friday.

Italian Ancelotti did not divulge the nature of the injury although local media reported the Portugal captain had felt discomfort in a tendon in his left knee since the Champions League win at home to Schalke on March 18.

Ronaldo is having treatment and training normally and will be available for Madrid’s Primera Liga game at home to Rayo Vallecano on Saturday.

He is also the top scorer in this season’s Champions League with 13 goals and Madrid host Borussia Dortmund in a quarter-final first leg on Wednesday.

“He has a small problem but it is not having any negative effect at all,” Ancelotti said. “I don’t think it affects him on the pitch so he’ll play tomorrow as normal.”

Asked whether Madrid had considered resting Ronaldo, who has scored 27 La Liga goals this season, Ancelotti said: “It is something we have considered but he doesn’t need it at the moment as it’s a problem that is being dealt with very well.

“He is confident and is not complaining about it. But obviously if things get worse we will rest him but at the moment the player is calm and everyone is calm because it really is a small, small problem.

“He wants to clear it up in the coming days by playing and having treatment.”

Madrid’s title chances took a severe blow over the past week when they were beaten 4-3 at home by champions Barcelona and lost 2-1 at Sevilla.

Atletico Madrid are top on 73 points ahead of their game at Athletic Bilbao on Saturday, with Barca, who play at city rivals Espanyol, a point behind in second place. Madrid are third with 70 points, 14 ahead of fourth-placed Bilbao.

Ancelotti said Croatia midfielder Luka Modric had a fever on Thursday night and a decision on whether he would play against Rayo would be taken on Saturday.

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