Ronaldo should play - coach
Madrid - Cristiano Ronaldo should be fit to play a part in
Real Madrid's Champions League quarter-final first leg against Tottenham
Hotspur, coach Jose Mourinho said on Wednesday.
The club's leading scorer has pulled out of Portugal's
friendlies against Chile and Finland after aggravating a hamstring strain in
last weekend's victory over Atletico Madrid.
The club said on Sunday he would be sidelined for two to
"I hope he's back for the Spurs game," Mourinho
was quoted as saying on the club website (www.realmadrid.com). "With his
mentality we think he'll make it, but it will be tight.
"If he returns like he did for the Olympique Lyon game
to make his contribution to the team, it is always welcome."
Ronaldo damaged his left hamstring during the victory over
Malaga on March 3, but returned to help Real beat Lyon 3-0 in their Champions
League last-16 second leg last week.
The nine-time European champions host Spurs in their
quarter-final first leg on April 5, and could also have striker Gonzalo Higuain
back in their ranks.
The Argentina international has been out since having
surgery on his back in January.
"He played in a training match for the first time today
where we used players from the youth team to make up numbers for 11 against
11," Mourinho added. Many of his squad is away on international duty.
"He played 60 minutes. Obviously he isn't ready but
he's on the road back. I don't know if he'll make the game against Sporting
Gijon (on the weekend April 2/3), but if he doesn't he'll be back soon, and
he'll be welcome as one more.
"With so many games to play before the end of the
season it is important to have him as well."
Real are chasing honours on three fronts. They are second in
the league, five points behind arch-rivals Barcelona, who they also meet in the
King's Cup final on April 20, and they are in the last eight of Europe's elite