Ronaldo injury not serious - Benitez

The Portuguese missed Real Madrid's friendlies in Munich because of a back problem, but his coach is confident he will be back in action soon

Rafael Benitez says Cristiano Ronaldo has been suffering with back pain but expects the Real Madrid star to be fit for their league opener against Sporting Gijon.

The Portuguese talisman missed out on his side's Audi Cup friendly games in Germany because of his fitness problem, with the Blancos losing out to Bayern Munich in the final.

However, Benitez insists the Ballon d'Or holder's complaints are not a serious injury concern and does not expect him to be out for long.

"Cristiano had a problem the other day and he has been working with the medical team," the Spaniard told reporters.

"He should be okay next week and I don’t think he’ll have any problems playing the opening game against Sporting on August 23.

"During the pre-season two players suffered injuries; the rest have been suffering twinges or discomfort, not real injuries. For me, it’s positive how the squad is shaping up physically.

"The team is fine, but we still have to improve. The impression we have given is one of a very solid-looking side and I am feeling optimistic."

The former Liverpool boss also talked about Martin Odegaard, insisting that he will soon decide if the Norway international remains with the club or is sent out on loan.

"I have spoken to Zinedine Zidane and we have to decide what’s best. The idea is that he is eventually incorporated into the first team squad but we have to protect him.

"He’s intelligent and he enjoys training and works hard."