Tottenham winger Gareth Bale ruptures ankle ligaments
Tottenham winger Gareth Bale has ruptured ankle ligaments but the club hope he will be fit for pre-season.
A scan has revealed the extent of the damage suffered after a tackle by Charlie Adam forced Bale go off on a stretcher in a draw against Blackpool.
"Gareth will remain in a protective boot for up to 12 days before beginning rehabilitation," said a statement from the Premier League club.
"The player is expected to be fit for the start of pre-season."
However, the Wales international will miss his country's Carling Nations Cup fixtures against Scotland and Northern Ireland in Dublin on 25 and 27 May.
Wales manager Gary Speed, who was also without Bale for the 2-0 Euro 2012 qualifying defeat to England in March after the midfielder suffered a hamstring injury, believes the enforced rest will benefit the 21-year-old.
"I spoke to Gareth yesterday. He was very positive about it," said Speed. "He assured me that the surgeon told him it was the best possible result, the best-case scenario in terms of the ligaments he has damaged.
"So it will be four to six weeks off and then he can continue training.
"It is a good thing as he has had a long, tough season so that four to six weeks will do him good I would imagine.
"I don't think he's had surgery - I don't think he needs it. But he is going to stay at Spurs for his rehabilitation."
Bale went off after 64 minutes of the 1-1 draw against Blackpool at White Hart Lane on Saturday.
Midfielder Adam, who was linked with a move to Spurs in the January transfer window, escaped without a booking for the challenge and went on to miss a penalty as well as score a spot-kick in the game.
"It was a bad challenge by Charlie but it's out of character for him," said Spurs boss Harry Redknapp, whose side play Manchester City on Tuesday before games against Liverpool and Birmingham.
"He caught him but having met the boy a few times and spoken to him, I don't think he's that type of lad who would go and purposely try to do somebody like that.
"It was an enthusiastic tackle but it was a bad tackle and he could have easily seen a red card. He came into the dressing room afterwards and apologised."
The injury to the Professional Footballers' Association player of the year is also set to rule him out of playing for Wales at the Four Associations' Tournament later this month.
Redknapp added: "It's a blow but we have been without Gareth quite a bit recently.
"He has had a fantastic season. The first three-quarters of the season he was unplayable, but over the last couple of months the injury situation has taken its toll on him.
"During that time he hasn't quite been the same boy."