Real Madrid will be without Gareth Bale for a while after the Welsh wizard limped off in the first half of their UEFA Champions League win over Shakhtar Donetsk on Tuesday.
Bale, 26, was substituted in the 28th minute of Real’s 4-0 win over the Ukrainian outfit at the Santiago Bernabeu after suffering an injury to his left leg. The Real superstar has made a strong start to the La Liga campaign, scoring twice and assisting three times in the opening three matches as Real are unbeaten.
In a brief statement released on Real’s website on Thursday titled “Bale medical report” they confirmed the following:
“Following the tests carried out on Gareth Bale today in the Sanitas La Moraleja University Hospital, the player has been diagnosed with a soleus muscle injury in his left leg. His condition will be evaluated.”
The club have not confirmed how long Bale will be out injured, but it is likely he will not return to action until early October for the Spanish giants. Real won’t want to risk further injury by rushing Bale back, as they still have a rather modest stable of other talented attackers in Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and James Rodriguez to man the pumps while he’s away.
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Even though Rafael Benitez will be eager to get Bale back as soon as possible, and especially ahead of the UCL Group A double-header against Paris Saint-Germain on Oct. 21 and Nov. 3, the Welsh national team will be sweating on Bale’s fitness as Chris Coleman’s side are on the verge of sealing qualification to the 2016 European Championships.
Wales have never qualified for the European Championships, and have not qualified for a major tournament since the 1958 World Cup. But with Bale as their leading man during EURO 2016 qualification — he has scored six of their nine goals in Group B play — the Dragons need only one win against either Bosnia on Oct. 10 or Andorra on Oct. 13 to rubber stamp their place in France next summer.
Bale should be back fit by then, but this injury means he may not be 100 percent and could still be working his way back to full fitness. Not ideal for the Welsh, but even with Bale at 60 percent they should pick up the points they need to seal qualification.