Real Madrid striker Gareth Bale is back in training after a protracted injury-induced absence but will not be fully fit in time for the team’s squad to face Las Palmas on Sunday, same as Dani Carvajal who’s also recovering from an illness, head coach Zinedine Zidane has confirmed.
Bale suffered a calf injury in September and has missed seven games for Madrid and two World Cup qualifiers for Wales during that time, including the pivotal fixture against the Republic of Ireland in which the winger’s World Cup hopes went up in smoke.
After training with the first team this week, there had been hope that Bale could return against Las Palmas with Madrid having followed up a shock 2-1 LaLiga loss to Girona with a 3-1 reverse against Tottenham in the Champions League.
But Bale, who Zidane confirmed will not go with Wales on international duty this month, and full-back Carvajal – who was ruled out indefinitely in September with a heart condition and trained this week – will not be risked.
“We’re happy they’re both back in the fold, we need [Mateo] Kovacic to return hopefully next week [to have a fully fit squad],” he told a pre-match news conference.
“As for Dani, things are normal now, the same for Gareth Bale. It was the second training session with the team for Gareth and Dani too, we’re happy to have them both back.
“They won’t be in the squad. After Dani’s been out he’ll need time to recover, he’s going to be here, he’ll work and he’s going to train.
“The same goes for Gareth, he’s not going to be named in the squad, he’s not going to go away on international duty, he’ll stay here. We want him to stay here to work with us and recover so he can be back soon.”