Jose Mourinho has moved to play down concerns about the fitness of Cristiano Ronaldo after Real Madrid thrashed Malaga 7-0.
Ronaldo claimed a hat-trick in the demolition of the La Liga strugglers at the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday.
But the Portugal captain was forced from the field moments after notching his third goal.
It was initially thought the key forward may have sustained a long-term injury, but Real coach Mourinho later revealed the prognosis to be more positive.
“If Cristiano has something it’s something minor, it’s no drama,” Mourinho said.
The club’s official website describes Ronaldo as having sustained a left hamstring niggle.
With all three substitutions having already used by the home team, Ronaldo’s enforced withdrawal left Real with just 10 men for the final exchanges of the match, but fortunately Malaga had already been reduced to 10 men after a red card to Manolo Gaspar.
“I cannot feel guilty about Ronaldo’s injury because I made the substitutions immediately,” Mourinho said.
“I cannot make four, five or six substitutions. A player can get injured on the pitch or at his own home. I don’t think he’s injured due to exhaustion because we faced Deportivo five days ago.”
Mourinho also defended his pre-match comments, where he appeared to mock the choice of opposite number Manuel Pellegrini, who joined strugglers Malaga this season after his dismissal from Real in May 2010.
Former Chelsea and Inter Milan boss Mourinho said that if he was dismissed by Real, he would prefer to manage a ‘big club in England or Italy’ rather than follow Pellegrini’s route.
“I have nothing against Malaga city, nor against the club or the people that work in it,” Mourinho said.
“It’s not a problem from me to apologise if I must, but the truth is I simply answered like I always do: without hypocrisy.”
“Those who can, choose the best situation available to them. One of my faults is that I’m not a hypocrite in a world full of hypocrites. I will always have this fault.”