Cristiano Ronaldo has set alarms bells ringing at Real Madrid ahead of the upcoming visit of Barcelona on Saturday [23 December] after the Portugal international trained away from the rest of his teammates for the third day in a row.
The five-time Ballon d'Or winner missed Los Blancos' training session on Tuesday and Wednesday [19 and 20 December] and was also absent when the rest of his teammates stepped up preparations for the highly-anticipated El Clasico on Thursday morning [21 December].
His absence from the first two workouts of the week appeared to be only be precautionary with the 32-year-old forward preparing to manage his own fitness ahead of big games.
However, Real have now provided fans further reasons to be concerned about Ronaldo's availability for the crucial visit of Barcelona after he was also unable to train just two days before the game.
"The team have trained at Real Madrid City in continued preparation for the LaLiga showdown with Barcelona, to be played at the Santiago Bernabéu this Saturday (1:00pm CET). Ball work took centre stage in a session which saw Zidane involve Under-19s goalkeeper Moha," the club confirmed only two days before El Clasico.
"Cristiano Ronaldo trained alone out on the pitch, both with and without the ball, whilst Luca continued his recovery process."
Los Blancos have not disclosed the reason behind his continued absence but fans are starting to fear the worst ahead of El Clasico.
Reports in Spain suggest that Ronaldo will play a game which will come only before a Christmas break but it is uncertain whether the Real ace will be in the best of form.
He has not completed a full training session since helping Real to win the Fifa Club World Cup with a 1-0 victory over Gremio in the final played on Saturday [16 December] at the Zayed Sports City Stadium in Abu Dhabi.
The five-time Ballon d'Or winner scored a free-kick in the final and appeared to be full of confidence heading into the visit of Barcelona following a poor start to the season.
The Portugal international has only scored four goals in La Liga this term but he has netted five in his last four appearances in all competitions.
Ronaldo netted a goal in the semi-final against Al Jazira and also got his name on the score sheet twice in the 5-0 victory over Sevilla.
Real will be hoping Ronaldo can return to training on Friday as his goals in El Clasico will be much needed to secure the three points, with the Catalans currently 11 ahead in the La Liga table.