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Real Madrid captain Raul says his progress in the next few weeks will determine whether or not he will be fit to play for Spain at next summer’s World Cup finals.

The 28-year-old striker partially tore the cruciate ligament during his side’s 3-0 defeat by Barcelona last month.

The club remains hopeful that Raul will be fit before the end of the season, although the player himself sounded a note of caution when discussing his chances.

“My hope is that they won’t have to operate and that the recovery time will be reduced,” Raul said on Monday.

“I suffered the injury three weeks ago on Saturday and all is going well at the moment, but the next few weeks will be decisive. When I come off the crutches we’ll have to see how the knee responds.”

Spain will face Ukraine, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia in Group H for the World Cup.

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