Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane says he has to protect Cristiano Ronaldo from overworking his body – as he makes his latest comeback from injury.
The 31-year-old forward was forced off in the Euro 2016 final against France with a knee concern and has played just 65 minutes this season – in the 5-2 win over Osasuna on Saturday, where he scored after just six minutes.
A hamstring problem last term kept Ronaldo out of action for crucial league games and the first leg of Real's Champions League semi-final against Manchester City, after playing 34 consecutive league games without being substituted as well as 10 straight Champions League matches.
And while Zidane says the Portuguese star will get a full 90 minutes against Sporting CP on Wednesday, the Frenchman has revealed he needs to be vigilant not to let his star man overdo it again.
"The idea is for him to play 90 minutes. I try to speak to Cristiano about other things than minutes because if you ask him he always wants to play 90 minutes," 'Zizou' said.
"I'm always thinking about the two months he was out because that's a long time for a player… (But) he's ready, we'll see what happens."
Ronaldo faces his boyhood club for the first time with Los Blancos after scoring in two victories for United in the group stage of the 2007 Champions League.
Zidane added: "Of course it's special for him because it's his club and he grew up there, but he's very professional and he will give everything as he always does. He will be focused from the start."