Ronaldo is concerned by injury admits Casillas

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The Independent Football

Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas has admitted Cristiano Ronaldo is concerned by the ankle injury which will sideline him for at least another month.

he Portugal international, who moved to Real in the summer for a world record £80million fee from Manchester United, has already missed four weeks with the problem and is set to consult his former specialist, Professor Niek van Dyjk, who treated the same ankle last year.

"Cristiano is concerned because he thought he would recover this week and play some minutes against Alcorcon (in the Copa del Rey)," Casillas told Marca.

"We hope now that he improves, as we need to see him back with us and scoring goals again."

Meanwhile, Villarreal coach Ernesto Valderde hailed the bravery of his players after they kept their Europa League hopes alive with a 4-1 victory over Lazio on Thursday evening.

Two goals from Robert Pires and further strikes from Cani and Giussepe Rossi continued the resurgence of the Yellow Submarine.

The win was Villarreal's second in Group G and moved them up to second place in the table ahead of the Italian club.

"We knew if we lost we would be out," admitted Valverde.

"The important thing was the three points and then if we could win by more than one goal that would be better. The game had everything.

"We were fortunate to score early and were fairly good in the first half. In the second they were better but we held our advantage."

Elsewhere, Atletico Madrid striker Diego Forlan is desperate to start climbing the La Liga table.

The Uruguay international saw reasons to be optimistic during this week's 2-2 Champions League draw with Chelsea and has backed new coach Quique Sanchez Flores to lift the club domestically as well.

Despite drawing with the Premier League leaders, the result ended Atletico's Champions League hopes for another season and they are 18th in La Liga after winning just one of their first nine matches.

Forlan told Marca: "The hard thing isn't being knocked out of the Champions League, but being low down in the league table, in the relegation zone. That's tough.

"We haven't done well in the first few months in La Primera or in the Champions League. The thing that remains for us now in Europe is to qualify for the Europa League.

"The Chelsea game is positive because we did well and had chances. We controlled the game, something that bodes very well. The annoying thing was that they also had chances.

"We are all aware of the situation. What we have to do is fight so that the team becomes what it was before. We are the same players and we want to take hold of what Quique wants of us as soon as possible.

"I would say to the fans that we are doing badly at the moment, but have patience with us. We want to win and give great joy to our supporters."