Cristiano Ronaldo is now a serious doubt for next Wednesday's Copa del Rey final meeting with Barcelona, and even the Champions League semifinals, after tests revealed the Real Madrid star had a thigh strain to go with his existing knee problem.
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Ronaldo, the reigning Ballon d'Or, missed last weekend’s 4-0 La Liga win at Real Sociedad with that tendonitis issue in his left knee. And while he travelled to Germany for Tuesday’s Champions League return game at Borussia Dortmund, the Portuguese remained on the bench even as Madrid just about stumbled through 3-2 on aggregate to the last four.
After that match, Los Blancos coach Carlo Ancelotti assured reporters that Ronaldo was "fine" but said he had not wanted to "risk him because of the intensity of the game", while suggesting the 29-year-old could play in this Saturday’s La Liga fixture at home to Almeria.
However, press reports on Wednesday said Ronaldo had undergone more than two hours of tests on his return to Madrid, with the player having further injury concerns due to the wear-and-tear picked up while playing in over 60 games already this season.
Madrid’s short medical statement released on Thursday confirmed the additional thigh injury, but did not include any expected length of time on the sidelines.
"Medical tests performed on Cristiano Ronaldo have revealed an injury to the player's left biceps femoris muscle," the statement said. "Pending a medical evaluation."
In better news for Madrid fans, first-choice left-back Marcelo returned to training with his teammates on Thursday morning after two weeks out with a muscle injury, and looks set to be ready for the Copa final.
Ahead of that game at Mestalla, Ancelotti has plenty of selection posers for Saturday’s game at home to relegation threatened Almeria. Right-back Dani Carvajal and midfielder Xabi Alonso are both suspended, leaving the Italian coach with little other scope for rotation ahead of the huge fixtures coming down the line.