World Cup qualifying news

Gareth Bale called up despite injury

October 3, 2013
By ESPN staff

Gareth Bale has been called up by Wales for their upcoming World Cup qualifiers despite Real Madrid ruling him out through injury until after the international break.

Train: Real fly past Copenhagen

Bale missed Real's Champions League match against FC Copenhagen on Wednesday with a problem the club have described as "muscle fatigue".

That issue has plagued the 24-year-old since he made his world-record move to the Bernabeu from Tottenham in August and limited him to just one start for Los Blancos thus far. Real boss Carlo Ancelotti said after Wednesday's 4-0 win in the Group B clash that Bale would be back after "15 days of rest".

Wales manager Chris Coleman has called up his star player as one of five forwards for the Group A fixtures against Macedonia in Cardiff on October 11 and then in Belgium four days later, despite Wales' hopes of qualifying for the finals in Brazil having long since ended, although he has confirmed that Bale will not take part in either match.

"He is named until we're told otherwise," Coleman said. "But after naming the squad I was told he had a problem. It looks like he will possibly be out for two weeks.

"I found out yesterday for definite. I spoke to the doctor and he filled me in on he particulars. You always hope because sometimes you have a slight problem but we like to try and get him here to see how serious it is.

"This is more than a slight problem. He will be unavailable for at least the first week of training, so he has no chance of playing.

"I don't want to waste his time, Real Madrid's time, or our time.

"It is a massive blow, we didn't have him for the Republic of Ireland game, we only had him for half-an-hour against Serbia.

"A player of his talent would be a loss to anybody, especially to us, offensively he is the key that opens every door."

Bale will miss Real's trip to Levante on Saturday and concerns over his fitness also make him a doubt for the home league match against Malaga on October 19 immediately after the international break.

Looking further ahead, Bale's participation in the Champions League visit of Juventus and the first clasico of the season against defending Spanish champions Barcelona later this month is also far from certain. 

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