Cristiano Ronaldo returns to full training for Real Madrid
MADRID (AP) — Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo's chances of facing Manchester City in the second leg of the Champions League semifinals on Wednesday were boosted as he returned to full training, having missed three consecutive games because of an injury to his right leg.
Ronaldo looked fit again as he practiced with the rest of the squad on Monday — the first full practice session for the Portuguese forward this week.
He had participated in some of Sunday's session and had shown no signs of being bothered by the injury.
Ronaldo got injured late on in a Spanish league game against Villarreal on April 20.
In addition to sitting out the first leg against Manchester City in England, which finished 0-0, he also missed two Spanish league games for title-chasing Madrid.
Ronaldo underwent tests last week but Real Madrid has not released any specific details on Ronaldo's injury, prompting numerous rumors in Spanish media about its severity.
Coach Zinedine Zidane had expected Ronaldo to play in the first leg against Manchester City, but the player failed a physical in the last training session before the game and had to watch from the bench.
Ronaldo is the leading scorer in the Champions League with 16 goals, one shy of the record he set in the 2013-14 season, when Madrid won its 10th European title. He has 31 goals in the Spanish league, having surpassed the 30-goal mark in six straight seasons.
Real Madrid is one point behind both Barcelona and Atletico Madrid with two rounds to go in the Spanish league.
While Ronaldo is likely to be back on Wednesday, it remains unclear if Karim Benzema will be able to play at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium.
Benzema ran by himself in Monday's practice session. The France striker was diagnosed with a hamstring injury to his right leg after being substituted at halftime of the first leg in Manchester.
Benzema and Ronaldo lead Madrid with a combined 74 goals this season. Gareth Bale has been the team's top forward recently, scoring four goals in the last four games.
Brazilian defensive midfielder Casemiro also practiced separately from the rest of the squad, after picking up a knock in the team's 1-0 win at Real Sociedad in the Spanish league on Saturday.