Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale out after suffering third calf injury of season

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Gareth Bale will be spending some time on the sidelines at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Bale, 26, was injured in the first half of Real Madrid’s 5-1 win over Sporting Gijon on Sunday as he went down with a right calf injury.

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In a statement on their website Real had the following to say after scans revealed the extent of his injury, with the Welshman expected to be out for at least three weeks.

“After tests carried out today on the player Gareth Bale at the Sanitas La Moraleja University Hospital, he has been diagnosed with soleus muscle injury in his right leg. His recovery will continue to be assessed.”

Bale is likely to miss the upcoming La Liga games against Real Betis, Espanyol, Granada and Athletic Bilbao, and will be touch and go for the first leg of their UEFA Champions League last 16 clash against AS Roma on Feb. 17.

It also marks the third time this season he has been out with a calf injury, as he missed almost a month in September and then two weeks in October with similar injuries.

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The former Tottenham Hotspur star has been in sensational form in Zinedine Zidane’s first two games in charge. Bale scored a hat trick in the 5-0 win over Deportivo La Coruna on Zidane’s managerial debut and then scored one and set up another against Gijon on Sunday before coming off injured in the first half.

Bale has 13 goals this season, while Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo each have 16 and the three-pronged forward line have been dubbed “BBC” by Real’s fans. During Zidane’s first two games in charge, all 10 goals Real have scored have come from one of the aforementioned trio.

Losing Bale for almost a month will be a blow to Zidane as they currently sit in second place in La Liga, two points behind crosstown rivals Atletico.