Cristiano Ronaldo, who has not played for club or country since being stretchered off against France in the Euro 2016 final back in July, has said that he will make his long-awaited return for Real Madrid this weekend.
The 31-year-old missed Real's UEFA Super Cup triumph over Sevilla last month as well as Portugal's recent 2-0 loss to Switzerland in their opening 2018 World Cup qualifier.
However, he trained with his Madrid teammates earlier this week for the first time since recovering from the medial collateral ligament damage which he suffered in his left leg following a challenge from French playmaker Dimitri Payet.
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Ronaldo's injury deprived him of a full pre-season, and he'll probably be lacking match sharpness, however the global superstar insists that he will play when Los Blancos welcome Osasuna to the Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday.
At a promotional event, the Portugal captain told reporters: "Yes, I will play (against Osasuna)."
Have Real Madrid missed Cristiano?
Not only did Zinedine Zidane's men win the Super Cup without Ronaldo, but they've also won both of their opening La Liga games this term, first with an impressive 3-0 victory away to Real Sociedad and then backed up with a 2-1 home success over Celta Vigo.
In the absence of Ronaldo, 20-year-old Marco Asensio has deputised on the left-wing for last season's Champions League winners, and he's grabbed the opportunity with both hands.
The young Spaniard has been outstanding in the early part of the new campaign, marking both his first competitive appearance and his first league start for Madrid with exceptional goals. Despite Ronaldo's return, Zidane may not want to take the talented Asensio out of his team.
So, with first-choice centre-forward Karim Benzema yet to feature in La Liga this season due to injury, Cristiano may replace Alvaro Morata in the starting line-up and adopt a central role, a position in which he operated from during the Euros.
Ronaldo's record v Osasuna
Newly promoted Osusuna have picked up a point from their two league games so far and the side currently 15th in the table will not not be happy to hear that Ronaldo is ready to return.
The deadly Portuguese forward has registered ten goals in ten games against Osasuna in all competitions and he'll be eager to celebrate his comeback by improving that record.
One thing that is for sure is that Real Madrid fans will be delighted to have their all-time top goalscorer back in their team, as they go in search of the Spanish title - something the club has won just once in the last eight years.
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