Wales and Real Madrid star Gareth Bale's injury not as bad as initially feared

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Gareth Bale is not as badly injured as Real Madrid and Wales first feared with medical tests revealing the winger has not torn a calf muscle.

The 28-year-old was ruled out of Wales’ final World Cup qualifiers against Georgia and the Republic of Ireland, following dialogue between his club and his country, with a calf strain.

An update from Spanish champions Real on their official website on Wednesday said the former Tottenham player had been diagnosed with “swelling but no tear in the soleus muscle of his left leg”.

Bale suffered the injury during Real’s Champions League victory over Borussia Dortmund last month.

Los Blancos must twice play Tottenham in Europe and Bale will be touch-and-go to feature against his former club, with the Premier League side visiting the Bernabeu on October 17 before a reverse fixture on November 1.

The Cardiff-born winger has been plagued with injuries since joining Real in a reported €100million (£86million) switch in September 2013. He has, however, won the Champions League three times with the capital club and celebrated a LaLiga title win last season.

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Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane hints at more playing time for budding Arab star Achraf Hakimi

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Zinedine Zidane insists he has no concerns over giving 18-year-old Achraf Hakimi regular playing time in the first team.

The Moroccan made his debut for Real Madrid in their 2-0 win over Espanyol at the Bernabeu on Sunday.

Hakimi made history as he became the first Arab to feature in the first team for Los Blancos in the La Liga encounter.

The defender was only called upon though because Dani Carvajal was sidelined with a virus that has infected his heart wall but Zidane claims he will continue to play the youngster as long as the Spaniard is unavailable.

“He was outstanding,” Zidane said after Hakimi’s impressive debut.

“Achraf has shown that he can play and I am not scared to throw him in going forward.”

“He is the second-choice right back and so if Carvajal is not available, he can play”.

Hakimi’s next outing could be for Morocco in their World Cup qualifier against Gabon.

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Real Madrid star Gareth Bale sidelined for Wales' crucial World Cup qualifiers

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Gareth Bale has been ruled out of Wales’ final two World Cup qualifiers against Georgia and the Republic of Ireland, Press Association Sport understands.

Bale’s fitness has been a source of concern for Wales since he suffered a calf muscle strain against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League last week.

The 28-year-old missed Real Madrid’s LaLiga clash with Espanyol on Sunday night but reported to the Wales camp the following morning.

Bale attended the FAW Awards on Monday night but will not be fit enough to play in the two qualifiers which will determine Wales’ World Cup ambitions.

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