Gareth Bale: Real Madrid forward ruled out for longer with thigh injury

Gareth Bale
Bale has only played five league games this season

Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale's return from injury has been delayed after he sustained a thigh injury just days after returning to training.

A calf problem has kept the 28-year-old out since September but the Spanish club confirmed a fibrillar rupture to his left abductor on Thursday.

The recovery period for the injury is typically between two and six weeks.

Real boss Zinedine Zidane had asked Bale not to link up with Wales for friendlies against France and Panama.

Zidane's side face city rivals Atletico Madrid next on 18 November and currently sit third in La Liga, eight points behind leaders Barcelona.

Bale has appeared in just five league fixtures this season and played in only half of Los Blancos' La Liga matches in 2016-17 as a result of calf and ankle issues.

The former Tottenham winger moved to the Spanish capital in 2013 for a world-record £85.1m fee and has since won La Liga once and the Champions League three times.

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