Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo is confident he will be back on the pitch sooner than expected despite being told he faces around a month on the sidelines.
Ronaldo returned to Madrid yesterday after limping out of Portugal's 3-0 World Cup qualifying victory over Hungary and medical tests indicated he would be out of action for "three to four weeks''.
The injury is on the same ankle he was operated on last year, but the world's most expensive player has reassured fans it is in no way related and expects to be back sooner rather than later.
"I will work very hard to try to shorten the length of time I'm out, even though now what's important is to recuperate perfectly so as not to return to having problems,'' Ronaldo told Spanish newspaper AS.
"It's a different injury to that which I was operated on. It's got nothing to do with that. I'm calm because I know that with the desire I have to get better and the good work of the physiotherapists at Madrid everything will go very well.''
Ronaldo's absence is a big blow to Madrid as the 24-year-old has scored nine goals in his seven competitive games since moving from Manchester United, and their dependence on him was evident as they slumped to defeat in their first match without him.
The Spanish giants will feel somewhat aggrieved with Portugal for utilising Ronaldo despite him missing the Sevilla match the previous week with injury and being a major doubt right until the day before the qualifier.
However, Ronaldo insists there was never any question of him missing out.
"I felt very good, but I wasn't at 100%, I had a bit of discomfort,'' he said. "But I wanted to push myself to help my country go to the World Cup. I'm upset because I was in a good period of form and so being injured again is something that affects me even more.
"I'm not the country's saviour, but after the defeat against Sevilla, I wanted to help my Real Madrid team-mates win the next few games.''
Ronaldo is almost certain to miss the Primera Division games against Valladolid, Sporting Gijon and Getafe as well as the Champions League home clash against AC Milan and the Copa del Rey match at Alcorcon.
He is also likely to be absent from Madrid's visit to the San Siro and the derby against Atletico Madrid.