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By ESPN Staff

Real to be patient with Woodgate comeback

Injury-troubled Jonathan Woodgate has been given the backing of Real Madrid vice-president Emilio Butragueno.

Woodgate has been plagued by various fitness problems during his time with Real and only made his debut in August 2005 - 16 months after joining the club from Newcastle for £13.4million.

This season, the England defender has played in only six Primera Liga games and two Champions League matches.

He lasted the full 90 minutes against Villarreal on January 8 but he has since been sidelined with a muscle strain in his left leg.

However, Butragueno, a former striker at the club and a former Spain international, is keeping faith with the 25-year-old, telling Real's official website: 'We have to be patient with him.

'He will help us in the most critical of times. He should apply my philosophy of life, which is calmness.'