Ancelotti: Bale fine to face Atletico
Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti has said he expects Gareth Bale to be fine to play in Saturday's derby against Atletico Madrid at the Bernabeu.
Ancelotti said the former Tottenham star was training again with his colleagues, but it had been decided that he would not travel to Elche for Wednesday's La Liga game.
"[Bale] began to train yesterday, he did individual work and I believe he will be fine for Saturday's game," he said. "He will not be there tomorrow, and we must get him ready for Saturday."
The Italian rejected one reporter's suggestion that Madrid had rushed the world's most expensive player back to action too quickly, given that his pre-season preparation had been disrupted by the long saga of his transfer.
"He played 60 minutes in his first game at Villarreal," he said. "He just played 30 minutes at Galatasaray. He had no problems after that game, but then had a small problem [before Getafe].
"It is not a muscular injury, because then he would not have been able to train yesterday or today. We did not want to take a risk in putting him out on the field."
Ancelotti said Wednesday's game would be too soon for left-back Marcelo -- but the Brazilian would be back in contention for Saturday.
He said Raphael Varane and Fabio Coentrao would be available for selection at Elche, while Sergio Ramos and Luka Modric should both come back into the starting line-up.
Karim Benzema and Angel Di Maria, who worked in the gym on Monday after picking minor knocks the evening before, returned to training on Tuesday and look fine to start.
Madrid's players had learned from their last domestic away game -- a fortunate 2-2 draw at Villarreal -- how important it was to play each match with maximum intensity, Ancelotti said.
"We must be careful with this game," he said. "We have the experience of Villarreal, where it was a very difficult game.
"Tomorrow will be the same -- they will be very up for it, very motivated to play against Real Madrid. We talked with the players, and everyone agreed we needed to start games with a different intensity."