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Friday, April 12, 2013
Ronaldo uncertain for Bilbao trip

Dermot Corrigan, Spain Correspondent

Cristiano Ronaldo is a doubt for Real Madrid's La Liga trip to Athletic Bilbao on Sunday.

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Ronaldo admitted to feeling some pain as a result of a late foul by Galatasaray substitute Nordin Ambrabat when speaking with reporters after Tuesday's 3-2 defeat at Galatasaray, a result which still sent Madrid through 5-3 on aggregate to the Champions League semi-finals.

The Portuguese international did not take part in full training at Madrid's Valdebebas facility on Thursday, and coach Jose Mourinho could decide to excuse him from the game against Athletic Bilbao, given his side's focus is now firmly set on their Champions League semi-final first leg in two weeks' time.

Ronaldo's importance to Madrid was further confirmed by his double strike in Istanbul, which took him to 11 Champions League goals for the season, three ahead of nearest challenger for top scorer, Lionel Messi. That haul is also a Madrid record for the competition - surpassing the mark of 10 which had been held by Raul which Ronaldo equalled last term.

The former Manchester United man was joined in the gym on Thursday by Gonzalo Higuain, Michael Essien, Fabio Coentrao and Kaka. Essien had looked the most serious doubt for the semi-finals, having been substituted in the first half against Galatasaray with a muscle problem. Initial reports suggest the Ghana international will miss the game against Marcelo Bielsa's Basque side, but should recover in time for their next European date.

Should Ronaldo not start at San Mames, youngster Alvaro Morata may get another chance to impress. Sergio Ramos and Xabi Alonso, who missed the trip to Turkey through suspension, will both likely come back into Madrid's starting XI for the game at the ground at which they clinched last season's Primera Division title.




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