Advanced Search
Business | Metro | Nation | World | Sports | Features | Specials | Delta Stories
Ronaldo to have all the time necessary to return to play
26/12/2008 9:40


Brazilian striker Ronaldo (R) embraces Corinthians President Andres Sanchez during his official presentation in Sao Paulo December 12.- Xinhua/Reuters

The head coach of the Corinthians soccer team, Mano Menezes, recognized yesterday that he will have the difficult task of keeping Ronaldo's spirits high as he attempts to return to the field.

The club, along with its fans, is anxious to see the player debut in his new uniform for the first time. While the team's department of marketing is trying to capitalize on the player's image as much as possible, the coach is worried about Ronaldo's concentration and self-esteem, hoping to avoid any obstacles to his eventual return to the sport.

If it were up to the department of marketing, Ronaldo would return to the field on January 17, the day that the team is scheduled to host Boca Juniors in a friendly match.

The game would serve as a way to present the fans to the 2009 squad, as well as show off the team's superstar, Ronaldo. However, Menezes and the team doctors are weary of the premature return. The coach prefers to have Ronaldo fully healed and ready to play at a high level.

Menezes normally puts his players returning from an injury into a game to see their reaction and evaluate if they are ready or not. By doing so, he is able to see if the player is 100 percent and ready to compete for a starting job, or if he needs more time to recuperate.

However, since Ronaldo is considered to be a superstar, the team's fans may have to be patient and wait for the athlete to take his time and fully recover.

"Ronaldo will return to play when he is good and ready. The people who will make the decision as to when he is ready will be the medical staff and the athlete. Ronaldo will have all the time he needs to get back in shape and fully recover from his knee injury," said the team's director of soccer, Mario Gobbi.

Today, Ronaldo, as well as the rest of the Corinthians players, is expected to appear at the team's training facilities to begin pre-season training for the 2009 year. The goal of the coaching staff is to reduce Ronaldo's body fat and strengthen is left knee.

In personal news, Ronaldo welcomed the newest edition to his family on Christmas Eve. His fiance gave birth to a baby girl in the city of Rio de Janeiro. They named the girl Maria Sofia.