Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo faces a race against time to be fit to face Manchester City in the sides’ Champions League first-leg encounter at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday night.
The 31-year-old Portuguese forward has been ruled out of Real’s Primera Division clash with Rayo Vallecano on Saturday following the thigh injury he suffered in Wednesday’s win over Villarreal.
It puts his participation in next week’s Champions League fixture under question, with the player falling awkwardly and coming off the pitch moments before the final whistle against Villarreal despite having used all three of their substitutes.
“Tomorrow (Ronaldo) will not play,” Real coach Zinedine Zidane told reporters at a press conference on Friday.
“We did the scans and he has nothing serious, but he cannot play tomorrow. Then we will see day to day. Tomorrow he will stay at home. Then we will see about Tuesday.”
It will be the first league game of the season that Ronaldo will miss having played every minute of every game this season for Los Blancos.
Earlier on Friday Madrid released a statement confirming the injury to Ronaldo but giving no indication of the recovery time.
The statement read: “Following tests carried out today on Cristiano Ronaldo in the Sanitas La Moraleja University Hospital, he has been diagnosed with a muscle strain in his right thigh. His recovery will continue to be assessed.”
The former Manchester United player has scored 47 goals in 44 games for his club this season.