Sergio Ramos pledges quick Real Madrid return

Currently injured Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos said he is aiming to be back playing "as soon as possible," while teammates James Rodriguez and Fabio Coentrao have stepped up their recoveries ahead of Saturday's La Liga game at Real Betis.

Spain international Ramos joined a Madrid injured list, which also includes Luka Modric and Casemiro, when he strained ligaments in his left knee late in Sunday evening's 2-0 World Cup 2018 qualifier in Albania.

Madrid have not given an expected time-frame for Ramos' recovery from an injury similar to that suffered by teammate Cristiano Ronaldo in the Euro 2016 final, but local media reports say he will need five or six weeks on the sidelines and should return around the derbi at Atletico Madrid on Nov. 19.

Ramos has had an eventful start to the 2016-17 campaign, conceding four penalties in 11 games for club and country, leading to him hitting back at critics who he claimed were "tearing strips off him" after Spain's 1-1 draw with Italy earlier in the October international break.

The 30-year-old spoke directly to his fans via a Twitter message, which also included a video in which he thanked his fans for their support through recent days, and gave further details as to the extent of his injury.

"I want to say thanks for all the support and messages I have received these days about the injury," Ramos said. "The bad thing is it is a second grade, lateral internal ligament. I hope to be back as soon as possible. I'll work every day to get back. Thanks again from my heart."

Colombia international James also had a busy international break, travelling 22,000 kilometres to join up with his national team in South America although being unable to play due a calf muscle problem.

A fitness update issued by Madrid suggested that James, and long-term absentee Fabio Coentrao, had both began working outdoors as they look to get back to action with the team.

"The Real Madrid squad completed the second training session of the week at Real Madrid City, where Zinedine Zidane continues to welcome players back," the statement said.

"The session saw Isco, Keylor Navas and Mateo Kovacic train out on the pitches, whilst Casemiro, Sergio Ramos and Luka Modric continued with their recoveries.

"Elsewhere, Gareth Bale completed running drills and James Rodriguez and Fabio Coentrao combined some light work on the training pitches with a workout indoors."

Portugal duo Cristiano Ronaldo and Pepe are due back at Valdebebas on Wednesday, after they played in their country's 6-0 win in the Faroe Islands on Monday.

Toni Kroos, who completed the 90 minutes in Germany's 2-0 defeat of Northern Ireland on Tuesday, will be the last player to rejoin Zidane's group ahead of the weekend's return to La Liga action.