Madrid hopeful of Rodriguez return for Club World Cup

Madrid (AFP) - Real Madrid's James Rodriguez has started running again after a calf injury and could return in time to help his side in the Club World Cup next week, coach Carlo Ancelotti said on Thursday.

The Colombian picked up the injury in last weekend's 3-0 win against Celta Vigo in La Liga and will not feature against Almeria on Friday, when the reigning European champions chase a 20th successive victory.

Ancelotti indicated that he will also be unable to play in the Club World Cup semi-final, against either Cruz Azul of Mexico or Australian side Western Sydney Wanderers next Tuesday, but said that he should be able to feature in the final, should Madrid qualify.

"He has had a little problem and we want to get him back for the last match of the Club World Cup," said the Italian.

"He started working today (Thursday) and we hope he will be able to join the rest of the squad again next Thursday."

The final of the Club World Cup will be played on Saturday, December 20. Should Madrid lose their semi-final, they will still go through to a third-place play-off earlier the same day.

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