Saudi club Al-Nassr abruptly canceled a two-game tour in China after star player Cristiano Ronaldo suffered a calf injury. Reporters spotted Ronaldo wearing tape around his lower leg, however, the decision to suspend the trip to China is a serious one. Al-Nassr was already in Shenzhen taking part in its usual training. Yet, Al-Nassr’s two friendlies against Shanghai Shenhua and Zhejiang will happen at a later date.

Al-Nassr admitted that much of the reason for canceling the trip centers around the unavailability of Cristiano Ronaldo. The club mentioned that the reasons were out of its control, but that is just a way of saying Ronaldo’s injury will keep him out of this game. According to reports, the Portuguese star’s injury will keep him out of the squad for two to three weeks. The organizers of the event said they were saddened to report his knock put an early end to the tour.

The friendlies are not entirely off the table, though. Al-Nassr and the organizers of the friendlies agreed that the Saudi club would return to China at a later date. There is no confirmation as to when that is, but Ronaldo’s availability with Al-Nassr certainly plays a role.

Cristiano Ronaldo out of China tour, Al-Nassr vs Inter Miami next?

“Unfortunately, I have some problem, but this is part of football and my life,” Ronaldo said. “I’m here, I’m with the fans, I’m with the Chinese people and we are going to continue here. We can see outside the people that are with us, we are sad because we knew this could happen. We will be back to make the Chinese people happy, this is my goal. I want to play for you.”

Ronaldo, like his club, expressed his remorse for missing out on the tour in China. He reiterated his adoration for the country while saying he was looking forward to playing in front of his fans there.

“As you know, in football some things you cannot control. I have played 22 years in football and I am a player that doesn’t have too many injuries. So I’m really sad because Al-Nassr and myself have come to China to enjoy the tour. I have been coming to China since 2003/2004, so I feel at home here – my second home.

With Al-Nassr in a midseason break, it also scheduled games against fellow Saudi side Al-Hilal and Major League Soccer side Inter Miami. The latter of those set up what is likely the last game between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. However, the calf injury could rule the Portuguese out of that game. Inter Miami will still be making the trip, as Lionel Messi and company will also play Al-Hilal, one of the other clubs the Saudi Public Investment Fund owns.

A hurt to MLS Season Pass?

Major League Soccer revealed that it will have coverage of the Inter Miami preseason tour on MLS Season Pass. Having a game between Cristiano Ronaldo and Inter Miami on the platform would grow the audience base before a major 2024 campaign. The lack of affects the overall interest, especially since Sadio Mane is also out because he is on international duty with Senegal.