Gareth Bale’s injury nightmare continues with the news that he will be sidelined with a hamstring injury. This will be bad news for both Real Madrid and Wales ticket holders as he hopes to be back to full fitness for both domestic La Liga action in Spain and firing Wales to the World Cup in Russia this summer in a few weeks.
The Real Madrid forward picked up the muscle strain against Borussia Dortmund last Tuesday and has now been ruled out for the two crucial clashes against Georgia and the Republic of Ireland for Wales. The 28-year-old could be out for a month and that would also rule Bale out of the crucial play-off matches in November. Bale joined the Wales squad on Monday. Despite sitting out training, it had been hoped he would be fit. However, a scan revealed the severity of the injury and means Bale will not travel to Georgia for Friday's game in Tbilisi and will play no part in the Cardiff clash with Republic of Ireland three days later in his hometown.
Former Welsh star Ryan Giggs thinks it is time for Bale to address his injury woes which have seen him pick up no less that eighteen separate injuries during his five years at Real Madrid, missing important matches for both club and country. United have been linked several times in the past regarding a move to bring Bale back to the Premier League, though Giggs has warned his fellow Welshman that he may have to adapt his game later in his career if his injuries continue to hamper his progress. Giggs himself changed his style of play after losing his pace in his later years, and believes Bale is good enough to work around the fact that he’ll be in decline physically.
Giggs told Sky Sports: “When you look at Bale and the physical specimen he is, he is always going to be putting his body under pressure, especially with the sort of challenges he comes up against from other players.”
“With the injuries he has had and at the stage of his career, this is when you need to start addressing it. When you get to your late 20s it hits home that you need to start making changes.”
“Everyone is different and I tried to cover every base with yoga, acupuncture, ice baths, but what might work for some players might not for others.”
However, Real manager Zinedine Zidane had played down concerns about Bale's fitness. A club statement read: "Following tests carried out on Gareth Bale, he has been diagnosed with swelling but no tear in the soleus muscle of his left leg. His recovery will be monitored."
In order to secure a play-off place, Wales would realistically need at least four points from the games against Georgia and the Republic of Ireland. Their chances of doing so will be hampered by the injury to Bale, who has scored four goals so far in this campaign. Wales have failed to win a match without the Real Madrid forward since 2013, drawing three and losing three matches in his absence.
BBC pundit and ex-Wales international Robbie Savage said: “For Wales to be without Gareth Bale for two massive games is devastating. His passion and desire to play for Wales is there for all to see...it is a huge, huge blow.”
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