TURIN, Italy (Reuters) – Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo’s knee problem is getting better but he still might have to sit out their Champions League match at home to Atletico Madrid, coach Maurizio Sarri said on Monday.
The 34-year-old has been troubled by pain in his knee for several weeks although Juve, the Portugal national side and Ronaldo himself insist it is not serious.
Even so, he was left out of the squad for Saturday’s Serie A match at Atalanta which Juventus won 3-1.
“Yesterday (Sunday), he trained with his team mates. It seems that his condition is improving but we still have to evaluate between today and tomorrow,” said Sarri, adding that defender Matthijs de Ligt and midfielder Federico Bernardeschi were also doubtful for Tuesday’s match.
Sarri reiterated that there was no problem with Ronaldo who reacted angrily to being substituted in a 1-0 win over AC Milan earlier this month.
“I have a good relationship with Cristiano. If a player who has won so much is angry about being substituted, it means he still has a lot of motivation, and this is something positive,” he said.
Group D leaders Juventus have already qualified for the knockout stages with two games to spare and a win on Tuesday would ensure they win the group. Atletico are three points behind in second.
(Writing by Brian Homewood; Editing by Christian Radnedge)