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Injured Ronaldo expects to return in one or two weeks

By Reuters - Mar 27,2019 - Last updated at Mar 27,2019

Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo receives treatment from medical staff during the Euro 2020 qualifier match against Serbia in Lisbon on Monday (Reuters photo by Rafael Marchante)

LISBON — Cristiano Ronaldo does not think the injury which forced him out of Portugal’s match against Serbia on Monday is overly serious, and he told reporters he expects to return to action in one or two weeks.

Ronaldo went off in the first half of the Euro 2020 qualifier with an apparent hamstring injury. The match ended 1-1.

“I’ll know more in 24 or 48 hours,” he told reporters.

“It happens, it’s football. If you go out in the rain you get wet... I’m calm, I’ll be back in one or two weeks.”

A long absence would be a blow to his club Juventus, who signed Ronaldo last year to boost their chances of winning the Champions League. Juventus travel to face Ajax Amsterdam in their quarter-final first leg on April 10 with the return six days later.

Both Ronaldo and coach Fernando Santos said the referee had apologised to them for not awarding a penalty to Portugal for handball in the second half.

The referee initially gave the spot kick but then changed his mind. VAR is not used in the Euro 2020 qualifiers.

“It was very clear, the referee should have given it,” said Ronaldo. “The linesman was 40 metres away so it seems a bit strange.”

Santos said: “We saw the incident in the dressing room afterwards and neither we nor he had any doubt — it was a penalty... He apologised.”

In the match, Dusan Tadic fired Serbia ahead with a seventh-minute penalty before Ronaldo was replaced by Pizzi on the half-hour and centre back Danilo equalised for the European champions with a spectacular long-range effort in the 42nd.

In the group’s other fixture, Ukraine came from behind to win 2-1 in Luxembourg, who suffered heartbreak with a late own goal by Gerson Rodrigues, and go top with four points from two games. Luxembourg stay on three points and Portugal are on two. 

Serbia has one point from one match and Lithuania have none after its shock 2-1 defeat in Luxembourg on Friday. 

Having been held to a 0-0 home stalemate by Ukraine on Friday, Portugal was under pressure to deliver but fell behind after their goalkeeper Rui Patricio clattered into Mijat Gacinovic and Tadic converted the spot kick.

Ronaldo pulled up after sprinting for the ball and appeared to be in some discomfort as he pointed towards his right hamstring while he received treatment near the corner flag before signalling to come off.

Serbia keeper Marko Dmitrovic produced a string of superb saves before Danilo levelled with a thunderbolt from 25 metres, which cannoned into the net off the underside of the bar, after a darting run through the middle from the halfway line.

Portugal was also guilty of some poor finishing in the first half as William Carvalho fired wide from five metres in the fourth minute, with the visitors on the back foot throughout the opening 45 minutes. 

Adem Ljajic blazed a shot over the bar for Serbia in the 56th minute before defender Uros Spajic cleared a close-range Pizzi shot off the line as Portugal threw men forward in the closing stages. 

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