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Ronaldo set to make Real return

12 September 2014, 15:32

Madrid - Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo has completely recovered from injury, coach Carlo Ancelotti said on Friday, suggesting the World Player of the Year will feature in Saturday's La Liga clash against Atletico Madrid.

Portugal forward Ronaldo was struggling with a knee injury at the end of last season and picked up a hamstring strain last month. He has not played since he scored in a 2-0 La Liga win against Cordoba on Aug. 25 and missed Real's 4-2 defeat at Real Sociedad in their last outing.

"He is on top form," Ancelotti told a news conference previewing the match at Real's Bernabeu stadium, a repeat of this year's Champions League final, which Real won 4-1.

"He has been training very well these past three weeks and he does not have any problems," added the Italian.

"He is in optimal condition. He doesn't have a chronic injury. Last season he had one injury and now another. It's nothing chronic."

Read also: Early Liga boost on offer for old foes Real, Atletico

Saturday's game is a rematch of the season-opening Spanish Super Cup and a chance for Real to avenge their 2-1 aggregate defeat to their city rivals, the current La Liga champions.

It is also a chance for Real's new signing Javier Hernandez to make his debut since joining on loan from Manchester United and Ancelotti said the Mexico forward may come off the bench at some point.

He is competing with Real's France forward Karim Benzema for a place in the starting lineup.

"We are very happy with Chicharito," Ancelotti said in reference to Hernandez's nickname.

"Tomorrow he won't play from the beginning but he will be of use during the game."

Another of Real's new signings, James Rodriguez, has so far failed to reproduce the scintillating form that won him the golden boot award at the 2014 World Cup with six goals.

Ancelotti said it was normal for a player to need time to settle in at a new club and Rodriguez, who joined the European champions from Monaco, was no different.

Read also: Weekend English Premier League fixtures

"It's clear that a new player needs time to adapt," Ancelotti said.

"I am pleased with what he has done so far. It's normal that he might have the odd problem at the start."

Real's arch rivals Barcelona are the only team to have won both their opening games and host Athletic Bilbao on Saturday.

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- Reuters


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