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 Posted by Dermot Corrigan
Apr 21, 2014

Ronaldo in training ahead of Bayern tie

Gab Marcotti expounds upon the intriguing story lines that the Champions League semi-finals present.

Cristiano Ronaldo has returned to full training with Real Madrid and looks set to start Wednesday’s Champions League semifinal first leg against Bayern Munich at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, although Gareth Bale is now a slight doubt having missed Monday’s training session with flu.

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Ronaldo has not played since limping out of Madrid’s Champions League quarterfinal first leg against Borussia Dortmund on April 2, missing his team’s last four games -- including last week’s 2-1 Copa del Rey final win over Barcelona -- with a mixture of knee and thigh issues amid media reports of disagreement between the player’s camp and the club’s medical staff over the exact treatment required.

Madrid’s players had the Easter weekend off with their La Liga fixture with Real Valladolid having been put back to May 7, but AS reported that Ronaldo had stepped up his recovery, including extra sessions with privately contracted physio Joaquin Juan.

Cristiano Ronaldo
Real have scored 12 goals in the four games Ronaldo has missed through injury.

The Portugal captain was then able to complete the full session with his teammates when they returned to work at Madrid’s Valdebebas training ground, according to a club statement released on Monday.

"Real Madrid had their first training session of the week, and continued to prepare for the first leg of their Champions League semifinals, against Bayern Munich on Wednesday at the Santiago Bernabeu," the statement said. "Cristiano Ronaldo and [Sergio] Ramos worked with the group for the full session, which began with congratulations for Isco for his [22nd] birthday. Ancelotti also called up Castilla players Llorente, Burgui and Pablo Felipe. [Alvaro] Arbeloa, Jese [Rodriguez] and Bale, who has flu, were the absentees."

Ronaldo’s return is likely to see Isco drop out of the XI against the Bundesliga champions, with Angel Di Maria returning to central midfield, and Copa final match-winner Bale switching across to the right-wing -- assuming his flu issue is not serious. 

Ramos has been receiving treatment recently for a neck muscle complaint, and missed Madrid's 4-0 La Liga win over Almeria on April 12, but was able to come through the Copa win over Barca with no problems and should be fine to start against Bayern.

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