Gareth Bale set for March return, to feature in Wales' qualifier against Republic of Ireland
What’s the story?
Gareth Bale could be back on the playing field as early as March according to reports in the Telegraph after a surprisingly quick recovery from injury. The Welshman was initially slated to miss four months of action after suffering an ankle injury in Real Madrid’s Champions League encounter against Sporting Lisbon a couple of months ago.
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Bale suffered the injury in Madrid’s game against Sporting and after undergoing an operation, seems to be recovering much quicker than anticipated. The 27-year-old has missed action ever since November but his absence has not been felt to a great extent as Madrid continued their unbeaten run, recently extending it to 40 with their 3-3 draw against Sevilla in the Copa del Rey.
The heart of the matter
Bale is expected to be back in March and could feature for Wales in their crucial World Cup qualifier against the Republic of Ireland in Dublin. The Real Madrid ace had earlier expressed his desire of playing that particular game in Ireland in order to help his side gain entry to the World Cup in 2018.
Bale has reportedly told Wales boss, Chris Coleman that he will be available for the game but the manager is still keeping his fingers crossed.
Wales have flattered to deceive in their qualifying campaign thus far and sit four points behind group leaders Ireland who have surprised one and all with their brand of football under former Aston Villa boss, Martin O’ Neill.
Also read: Gareth Bale in 2016: A comprehensive review
Meanwhile, Real Madrid, despite not having missed the Welshman much in their recent run would be boosted by his return as they prepare for a gruelling second half of the La Liga campaign as well as the Champions League knockout rounds.
Bale will be need to be at his best if the Spanish club are to defend their European crown with the likes of Bayern Munich and Barcelona eyeing the coveted trophy.
While a return date has still not been finalised, doctors and the player are both positive in their assessment so far. Unless he suffers a major setback, he is expected to take the field by March end at worst.
Bale’s return bodes well for his club and country. His return might help Madrid go the entire La Liga campaign unbeaten while at the same time help Wales get a foothold in their group.