MADRID - Brief news from La Liga ahead of this weekend's matches:
Real Madrid's record 80 million-pound signing Cristiano Ronaldo is recovering from an ankle injury but the club will not rush him back into action, coach Manuel Pellegrini said at a news conference on Friday.
"He is better but we want him to recover completely so he doesn't have any more problems," the Chilean said. "We'll take it week by week and see how it goes."
Ronaldo sprained his right ankle against Olympique Marseille last month and aggravated the injury playing for Portugal against Hungary on Saturday. Real said he would be out for up to four weeks.
Pellegrini has four other players unavailable for the home match against Real Valladolid on Saturday - striker Ruud van Nistelrooy, midfielders Guti and Fernando Gago and defender Christoph Metzelder.
Midfielder Lassana Diarra and defender Alvaro Arbeloa have been given the all-clear and Brazil playmaker Kaka and Argentina forward Gonzalo Higuain have returned from international duty in good shape, the club said.
Valencia striker David Villa should only be risked against visiting champions and la Liga leaders Barcelona on Saturday if he has fully recovered from a thigh injury, midfielder David Silva said.
"I assume that if he is okay he will want to play but you should not take risks as you could suffer a relapse," Silva said on the fifth-placed club's website.
The absence of the dangerous Villa, top scorer in the league this season with six goals, would be an advantage but it would be a much better match if he were fit, Barca midfielder Sergio Busquets said.
"We would prefer it if he didn't play because he is a very dangerous forward, but on the other hand it's better if our opponents field their best players because it makes for a more impressive spectacle," the Spain international said.
Sevilla striker Alvaro Negredo hopes to see out his contract with the Andalusians even though former club Real Madrid have an option to buy him back over the next two years.
"I have a five-year contract signed with Sevilla and I would like very much to complete it," Negredo, who scored twice for Spain against Bosnia on Wednesday, told Friday's As newspaper.
Sevilla are third in the standings, level on 15 points with Real, who they stunned 2-1 at home on matchday six, and play at fourth-placed Deportivo La Coruna on Saturday.
The Atletico Madrid fans who have been giving forward Jose Antonio Reyes a hard time since he returned from a loan spell are not helping the club's efforts to get their season back on track, Reyes said.
"My mission is to try and play football as well as possible, even though the whistling for sure does not do anyone any good," the former Arsenal player said. Atletico have six points from six matches in 14th place and play at Osasuna on Sunday.
Second-from-bottom Villarreal must focus only on Sunday's match at bottom club Xerez and not think about longer-term goals as they seek to turn their troubled season around, midfielder Santi Cazorla said.
"They (Xerez) are in a similar situation to us and it'll be a vital match for both teams," the Spain international said.
Espanyol forward Raul Tamudo has rejected suggestions made this week by club officials that he has asked for a transfer.
"I don't want to leave this place, even though it appears that some people do not want me to stay," Tamudo was quoted as saying in As on Friday ahead of Espanyol's home match against promoted Tenerife on Sunday.comments