MADRID, April 26 – Real Madrid striker Raul Gonzalez will miss the rest of the season after he sprained his ankle during a weekend Spanish league match, the club said Monday.The 32-year-old, who may leave the club over the summer, picked up the injury shortly after he scored Real’s opening goal in Saturday’s 2-1 away win over Real Zaragoza.
Medical tests carried out on Monday determined the player will be sidelined for at least four weeks, Real said in a statement posted on its web site.
Last week Raul, who has played mainly as a substitute in recent months, said he would decide on his future at the end of the season amid speculation that he will leave the club where he made his debut at the age of 17, becoming the youngest player ever to wear a Real jersey.
"Right now I’m not going to retire. I would like to see out the year left on my contract. We will see what happens at the end of the season. I, above all, want to keep playing football," he told reporters when asked about his plans.
Real coach Manuel Pellegrini has left Raul, who is under contract with the club until 2011, on the bench recently in favour of Argentina’s Gonzalo Higuain, 22, and Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo, who is 25.
The striker has scored 44 times during 102 appearances for Spain, making him the second-most capped player of all time after Andoni Zubizarreta.
But he has not appeared for the national side since September 2006 when he was controversially dropped by former Spain coach Luis Aragones.