The Portuguese winger did not train with his teammates just 24 hours before the match, which Madrid need to win to take back top spot in La Liga from arch rivals Barcelona.
Ronaldo instead worked with Madrid's physiotherapy and medical staff.
Madrid need to snap out of a poor run of form but won't have it easy at one of Spanish top flight's more difficult grounds to visit.
After a shock defeat at Valencia, Madrid had to fight back to beat Villarreal and then came from behind to salvage a draw against Las Palmas.
Defender Marcelo hinted at the disharmony inside the dressing room when he said "we talk about what we are going to do on the pitch and then we don't do it."Reuse content