Following his half time arrival in the Madrid Derby on Saturday, it seemed as though Gareth Bale was finally recovering from a long-term thigh injury that had hampered him all summer.
Bale, Madrid’s world-record signing over the summer for $132 million, will now miss the Champions League clash against FC Copenhagen after aggravating his knock against Atletico Madrid.
“After the tests carried out today [Wednesday], the player has been diagnosed with a muscle contracture in his left thigh,” Real Madrid said. “It remains to be seen how the condition develops.”
So, has all the rigmarole and fanfare surrounding Bale’s arrival caused more harm than good?
He arrived at Madrid without a preseason under his belt, and for anyone with professional experience, you can’t underestimate how important it is to get the miles under your belt in preseason. It helps prevent these kind of injuries, and the stresses and strains of soccer at the highest level seem a little bit easier to handle when you’re fighting fit and feel like you can take on the world.
But after Bale’s lengthy dispute with Tottenham over his protracted transfer, and then an injury right at the beginning of preseason, the Welsh international was deprived of setting himself up for what many believe will be the biggest season of his young career. The 24-year-old attacker should’ve been allowed to rest and recuperate for as long as possible, to help prevent any future injuries like this. Instead when he turned up in Spain, he was pushed straight into the media spotlight, and everyone demanded that he should start games and be playing straight-away.
The demands from the fans, media and the slight mismanagament from his club has seen the situation arise. Yes, Carlo Ancelotti left him on the bench against Atletico and Galatasaray, but he also started him against Villarreal and played Bale for over 60 minutes despite that being his first outing in months.
You would think Real Madrid would do anything possible to protect the most expensive piece of real estate in the clubs history.
Instead he’s played at every opportunity so far, when he really should have worked hard on his fitness for the first three or four weeks since his switch from Spurs, and should only be considered to play minutes for the first team, right about now.
Instead Bale’s out injured, again.