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Makelele ruled out for Madrid

Real Madrid CF will be without midfield player Claude Makelele for the second leg against Juventus FC.

Real Madrid CF will be without Claude Makelele for Wednesday's UEFA Champions League semi-final against Juventus FC after the player suffered a thigh injury at the weekend.

Race against time
The Spanish club’s medical staff confirmed today that the France midfield player had suffered a torn thigh muscle during Saturday’s 1-1 draw with RC Recreativo de Huelva. Makelele, who missed two weeks of action in December with a similar injury, faces a race against time to be fit for the Champions League final, should Madrid qualify, on Wednesday 28 May.

Eleven games
The 30-year-old Makelele has played eleven matches for Madrid in this season's Champions League including the semi-final first leg against Juventus, which finished 2-1 in Madrid's favour last Tuesday.

'Almost impossible'
Meanwhile, the club's doctor has admitted the chances of striker Ronaldo recovering from his calf strain in time to feature are "almost impossible", despite his inclusion in the 21-man travelling party. Alfonso del Corral said: "Ronaldo has been treated by the physios and is doing exercises in the pool but it will be very difficult for him to recover in time to play in Turin. We have been doing everything possible - and there is still time - but the truth is that I think it is almost impossible."

Key absentees
Zinedine Zidane, Luis Figo and Raúl González were all missing against Recreativo because of injury problems and also face a fight to be fit for Wednesday's game. Zidane is suffering from back pain and Figo has a minor groin strain while Raúl is still recovering from an appendix operation.