Jose: Real duo out of Spurs date

Jose: Real duo out of Spurs date

Published Apr. 1, 2011 1:37 p.m. ET

Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho has hinted Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema will not be fit for Tuesday's Champions League date with Spurs.

Speaking at a press conference ahead of Saturday's Primera Division game against Sporting Gijon, the Portuguese claimed Ronaldo, Benzema and Marcelo would not be available until the April 9 encounter with Athletic Bilbao.

He said: "Cristiano, Marcelo and Benzema can only play in Bilbao."

Ronaldo has been struggling with a hamstring injury while fellow forward Benzema picked up a slight thigh strain on France duty and full-back Marcelo suffered a blow to the ribs while training with Brazil.


On a brighter note for Madrid, Gonzalo Higuain could make an earlier-than-expected return following back surgery.

The Argentina striker has been included in the squad for Saturday's game, and Mourinho said: "His recovery is a positive surprise because we thought he may miss up to the final 15 games of the season and having him is important."