Real Madrid's Dutch international striker Ruud van Nistelrooy returned to training with the rest of his teammates on Thursday for the first time since undergoing surgery on his injured right ankle last month.
The 31-year-old will not be available for Sunday's home clash with Athletic Bilbao but he may return for the Real's encounter with the following week, the club said in a statement.
“Despite his return to the squad, the medical staff has decided not to force his recovery,” the statement said.
Van Nistelrooy had arthroscopic surgery at a clinic in the Netherlands on March 19 in a bid to stop inflammation in the problematic ankle joint. He returned to solo training earlier this month.
Defending champions Real Madrid could clinch their 31st Spanish league title if they beat Athletic Bilbao and nearest rivals Villarreal and Barcelona both lose.
Villarreal visit 11th-place Real Betis on Sunday, while Barcelona play at eighth-place Deportivo La Coruna on Saturday.
Real Madrid have 72 points, ten more than Villarreal and 11 ahead of Barcelona with five games remaining.
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