Gareth Bale is set for an extended spell on the sidelines, and reports now suggest that the forward could be out for a month longer than initially expected. The Welshman pulled up short during Real Madrid’s 2-1 victory over Sporting Lisbon in the Champions League last week, suffering a “traumatic dislocation of the peroneal tendons“.
The injury was set to keep the mercurial winger out for up to two to three months. However, according to Spanish news outlet AS, Bale could, in fact, be out for up to four months, which would see him return to the fold in March 2017.
The news will come as a big blow to Los Blancos, as Bale has been a central figure in their stunning start to the season. The Spanish giants are currently unbeaten in La Liga and sit comfortably at the top of the table with a six point lead over second placed Barcelona. The 27-year-old has made 16 appearances for Real this season and has managed to find the back of the net on seven occasions, as well as notching up three assists.
Bale went under the knife on Tuesday, but despite his ankle being successfully operated on, the surgery is said to have revealed the injury to be greater than initially expected. The reports will also be a cause for concern in the Wales camp. Bale faces a race against time to be fit for the International break which begins in March, and Wales manager Chris Coleman will be desperate to have his star player back and ready for selection by then.
Wales face the Republic of Ireland in a World Cup qualifier in March, and Coleman admitted that he hoped the injury would not keep Bale out for more than three months.
"I'm hoping it's going to be more like three months,” Coleman said. "He's an absolute machine and physically he's an absolute specimen. We'll know a little bit more probably next week or the week after."
Real Madrid released a statement earlier this week confirming that Bale’s operation was successful.
The Welshman sought to ease fans’ fears soon after the operation, assuring them that he was okay.
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