Saturday, November 19, 2005

Injury puts Raul Gonzalez out of action for two months

A knee injury will prevent Real Madrid's Raul Gonzalez, captain of Spain's national soccer team, from playing for at least six weeks in the Spanish league, the UEFA Champion's League and in the national team, Real Madrid doctor Juan Carlos Hernandez said on Monday.

Gonzalez damaged the cartilage in his knee in the Barcelona-Real Madrid game on Saturday, a much-anticipated Derby which Barcelona won 3-0. A magnetic resonance scan of his knee on Monday showed that he had also partially torn a ligament as well as rupturing a synovial capsule. His five goals this season make him one of the Spanish league's top 10 goal-scorers.

Real Madrid doctors will do further tests on Gonzalez's leg this week. In the worst case scenario he could be out of action for seven months, preventing him from playing in the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

"If it is only the cartilage then the recovery time is a month and a half to two months, but if the ligament tear is more serious then the recovery time could be much longer," said Hernandez. He added that Gonzalez is in good shape and should recover quickly.

"He has played at the highest level of the game for years and has never hurt himself. This is an important point in his favor. In addition, we have seen that his other knee is very stable and supports movement."

The injury is bad news for Real Madrid, which already has three of its international players off the field due to injuries.

Ronaldo Nazario is suffering arthritis of his left ankle, Thomas Gravesen has an injured right knee and Jonathan Woodgate has torn the muscles of his right thigh.

Real Madrid will play Olympique de Lyon on Wednesday, in a battle for first place in the Champion's League's Group F.


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