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Cristiano Ronaldo expected to be fit to face Spurs

Cristiano Ronaldo is substituted against Atletico Madrid
Ronaldo joined Real from Manchester for 80m in 2009

Real Madrid winger Cristiano Ronaldo is expected to be fit to face Tottenham in the first leg of the Champions League quarter-final in Spain on 5 April.

The 26-year-old pulled out of Portugal's upcoming friendlies against Chile and Finland with a hamstring injury he suffered on Saturday.

But Real boss Jose Mourinho said: "With his mentality we think he'll make it [the Spurs game], but it'll be tight."

Spurs midfielder Tom Huddlestone could feature after four months out injured.

The 24-year-old England international has been sidelined since undergoing ankle surgery in November, but returned to training last Friday and is on course to make his comeback in the Premier League game at Wigan on 2 April.

"Tom's a fantastic footballer and it's great to have him back training," Spurs manager Harry Redknapp told the club's website.

"We've two weeks now where we can really work with him and hopefully get him ready for the next game.

"There is no reason why he shouldn't make that with a fortnight's training."

If he [Ronaldo] returns like he did for the Olympique Lyon game to make his contribution to the team, it is always welcome

Jose Mourinho

Huddlestone's absence has enabled Brazilian midfielder Sandro to stake a claim for a holding midfielder role in the side, but having the former Derby County man available will be a boost for Tottenham.

The potential return of leading scorer Ronaldo will give Madrid a huge lift ahead of the Champions League tie.

The £80m signing from Manchester United, who has scored 37 goals in 42 games this season, was taken off after 73 minutes of Saturday's 2-1 win over Atletico Madrid.

It was initially believed he would be out of action for up to three weeks.

Ronaldo recently missed two games with a similar problem but returned for the Champions League last-16 second-leg victory over Lyon on 16 March.

"If he returns like he did for the Olympique Lyon game to make his contribution to the team, it is always welcome," said Mourinho.

Real could also have striker Gonzalo Higuain back in their ranks for the European tie.

The Argentina international has been out since having surgery on his back in January, but he played one hour of a training match on Wednesday.

"He played 60 minutes," added Mourinho. "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 2 April], but if he doesn't he'll be back soon, and he'll be welcome as one more."

The teams will meet at the Bernabeu before travelling to White Hart Lane for the second leg on 13 April.



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see also
Chelsea get Man Utd in last eight
18 Mar 11 |  Europe
Real Madrid 3-0 Lyon (agg 4-1)
16 Mar 11 |  Europe
Real's Ronaldo may miss Lyon tie
04 Mar 11 |  Europe
Ronaldo completes 80m Real move
01 Jul 09 |  Man Utd
Ronaldo's career in photos
11 Jun 09 |  Football
Ronaldo named Fifa player of 2008
12 Jan 09 |  Football
Man Utd sign Ronaldo
12 Aug 03 |  Man Utd


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