Cristiano Ronaldo is set to represent Manchester United against Arsenal on Saturday in his first match since the tragic death of his newborn son, interim boss Ralf Rangnick confirmed in a pre-match press conference.
The United star revealed on Monday that one of his newborn twins died during birth in a heart-breaking announcement. Ronaldo was then understandably given compassionate leave by the club to be with his family and grieve after their loss.
Rangnick said: ‘Scott McTominay will be back and fit to play, he has trained with us and the same is true with Raphael Varane. Cristiano Ronaldo is available again, he’s been training with us.
‘All of the others are still injured and Paul (Pogba) with the scan, it is not very likely he will play until the end of the season.
‘The doctor told me it will take four weeks minimum for him to recover and the last game is end of May. I don’t think it’s very likely he will play again.’
The 37-year-old forward therefore missed his side’s 4-0 defeat against Liverpool on Wednesday, but participated in a full training session at Carrington with team-mates on Wednesday, has continued to train this week and is in line to return for their clash with the Gunners at the Emirates on the weekend.
With Edinson Cavani injured and forwards Marcus Rashford and Anthony Elanga out of form, Ronaldo – who scored a brilliant hat-trick in his last game, a 3-2 win against Norwich – could well start up front for Ralf Rangnick’s side.
Ronaldo and Georgina Rodriguez received an outpouring of love after returning home with their newborn daughter on Thursday, days after confirming the child’s twin brother had died during birth.
Cristiano Ronaldo (right) is set to return for Manchester United’s clash vs Arsenal on Saturday
The Portuguese star had announced the tragic death of his newborn son earlier this week
Ronaldo and Georgina Rodriguez returned home with their newborn daughter on Thursday, days after the footballer confirmed his partner lost the child’s twin brother during birth
A statement from the couple confirmed the death of their baby boy as ‘the greatest pain’
He shared a social media update shortly after their baby girl made the journey back from hospital following her birth on Monday.
Posting a photo for his 430million followers, Ronaldo, 37, cradled his daughter while accompanied by Spanish partner Georgina and their four children – three of which the footballer fathered through surrogates.
Captioning the post, he wrote: ‘Home sweet home. Gio and our baby girl are finally together with us. We want to thank everyone for all the kind words and gestures.
‘Your support is very important and we all felt the love and respect that you have for our family. Now it’s time to be grateful for the life that we’ve just welcomed into this world.’
Relatives and footballers showed immense support for the couple, with Ronaldo’s sister, Katia Aveiro, writing in Portuguese: ‘Amo demais’ – translating to ‘love so much’ and Georgina’s sister, Ivana Rodriguez, commented: ‘God bless you’.
Ronaldo was given compassionate leave by the Red Devils to grieve the death of his baby son
Liverpool and Man United fans joined to applaud in the seventh minute at Anfield on Tuesday
Georgina shares daughter Alana, three, with Cristiano, and the Manchester United star also has son Cristiano Jr., 11, and twins Eva and Mateo, four
Team mate Marcus Rashford, ex-Real Madrid star Jesé Rodriguez, former Chelsea captain John Terry and Dutch footballer Leandro Fernandes also shared heart and prayer emojis in response to the post.
Ronaldo’s post was made shortly after he returned to full training with Manchester United.
Rangnick had earlier said: ‘Yes, of course, this is the worst that can happen. I am a father of two sons myself so I am fully aware of what that means. We are all behind him, we are all with him, and wish that he and his family are strong together.’
Earlier, a statement from the club read: ‘Everybody at Manchester United and indeed the football world is sending love to Cristiano Ronaldo and his family, after the club legend made a heart-breaking announcement on Monday evening.
‘Family is more important than everything and Ronaldo is supporting his loved ones at this immensely difficult time. As such, we can confirm that he will not feature in the match against Liverpool at Anfield and we underline the family’s request for privacy. Cristiano, we are all thinking of you and sending strength to the family.’