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Ruud on schedule for return next season

Real Madrid’s Ruud van Nistelrooy has said he is on course to recover from surgery to his right knee in time for the start of next season.

“I think I will be able to return to training in a month. It feels good and I am optimistic. I’m looking forward to kicking a ball again and playing a match,” the former Dutch international told sports daily Marca. He added: “I will have to wait until next season, but I am very enthusiastic and very motivated.”

The 32-year-old had surgery in November after damaging a cartilage in his right knee. He was ruled out for between six and nine months.