Mourinho rules out Ronaldo, Benzema
© EFE

Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho has hinted Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema will not be fit for Tuesday's UEFA Champions League quarter-final first leg against Tottenham Hotspur.

Speaking at a press conference ahead of tomorrow's Primera Division game against Sporting Gijon, the Portuguese claimed Ronaldo, Benzema and Marcelo would not be available until the 9 April encounter with Athletic Bilbao.

He said: "Cristiano, Marcelo and Benzema can only play in Bilbao."

Ronaldo has been struggling with a hamstring injury while fellow forward Benzema picked up a slight thigh strain on France duty and full-back Marcelo suffered a blow to the ribs while training with Brazil.

On a brighter note for Real, Gonzalo Higuain could make an earlier-than-expected return following back surgery.

The Argentina striker has been included in the squad for tomorrow's game, and Mourinho said: "His recovery is a positive surprise because we thought he may miss up to the final 15 games of the season and having him is important."