By Ian Parker, PA
Cristiano Ronaldo hopes to be fit for Manchester United’s Premier League match against Aston Villa this Saturday.
The 36-year-old missed Monday night’s FA Cup win over Steven Gerrard’s side with a muscular problem but was due to train on Thursday with the hope of returning to Ralf Rangnick’s squad for the trip to Villa Park.
“I’m good,” Ronaldo said on the club website. “I just have a little touch but, you know, it’s part of my work.
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“You know, we have to feel some pain sometimes. It’s nothing big and I hope to be good soon.”
Asked if he would be fit for the match, Ronaldo added: “I hope so. We will try on Thursday. I will try to train as normal. Let’s see how the body reacts.
“Fingers crossed. I’m confident.”
Ronaldo, who gave his backing to interim manager Rangnick in an interview which aired on Wednesday evening, has featured in all of United’s league fixtures since his return to the club at the end of August.
As the club’s top scorer with 14 goals in all competitions, the Portugal international shows no signs of slowing down as his 37th birthday approaches at the start of next month.
“I know my body,” he added. “One hundred per cent. I’m mature and experience gives you the possibility for you to understand your mind, your body and everything around football.
“So it’s good. I’m a different person, a different player (to my younger self) but the ambition is still the same.
“I want to play and help the team.”