Soccer: Bale recovery boosted by diagnosis of swollen calf muscle
By Richard Martin
REUTERS - Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale has been diagnosed with a swollen left calf muscle but has not torn it, his club said on Wednesday, boosting the player's chances of facing former club Tottenham Hotspur in the Champions League later this month.
Confusion has clouded the extent of Bale's latest injury with Real initially saying he had only suffered cramp towards the end of their 3-1 win at Borussia Dortmund on Sept. 26.
Coach Zinedine Zidane said the player was not seriously injured and was happy to see him go on international duty with Wales, despite omitting him from the squad for last Sunday's La Liga game against Espanyol.
Bale, however, had to leave the Wales camp on Tuesday because of the injury, forcing him out of his country's crucial World Cup qualifiers with Georgia and the Republic of Ireland.
Spanish daily Marca reported this week that the 28-year-old could be out for up to a month, although the club clarified his problem on Wednesday.
"After tests carried out on our player Gareth Bale, he has been diagnosed with swelling without a tear in the calf muscle in his left leg," said a statement on the European champions' website (www.realmadrid.com).
Bale is likely to miss Real's next league game, against Getafe on Oct. 14, but could be back in time to play against Tottenham at the Santiago Bernabeu three days later.
The Welshman, who joined Real in 2013 for a then world record fee of 100 million euros ($117.6 million), has sustained 18 injuries in his time in Spain, forcing him to miss 66 games.
He had to sit out three months of last season due to an ankle injury although his recovery from that problem was interrupted by two calf injuries which meant he missed Real's title run-in. He was also left out of the starting line-up in the Champions League final against Juventus in his hometown of Cardiff.
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(Reporting by Richard Martin; Editing by Christian Radnedge)