Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp insists reports that Gareth Bale could be out for three weeks with a hamstring injury is "a million miles" from the truth.
Bale pulled out of Wales' friendly against Costa Rica on Wednesday after complaining of tightness in his hamstring. However, Redknapp has denied reports that the midfielder is set for a long-term lay-off and remained hopeful Bale would be fit to face Manchester United at White Hart Lane on Sunday.
"That's absolutely a million miles wrong," Redknapp said. "He hasn't even got a tear in his hamstring. It's just a little bit tight but it should be okay. It shouldn't be a problem. We will have to wait and see how he is. Hopefully he should be okay [for United]."
Redknapp was also adamant that Bale does not dive and insists the only reason that his star winger goes to ground so much is because he is targeted by opposition players, who "kick him from pillar to post'' every week.
"I don't think he dives,'' the Tottenham manager said. "I haven't spoken to him about it and there is no need to. He gets kicked form pillar to post most Saturdays.
"I think you will find there is an awful lot of players who have been booked for chopping him down with cynical challenges this year, rather than him going down under no challenge.
"He takes some rough treatment, he gets chopped down an awful lot because he runs so quick and he changes direction so quickly. He has to accept it. The great players do like Messi and Ronaldo.
"I watch Spanish football every week and Messi gets chopped down and kicked but he gets up and gets on with it. He never misses a game. Gareth is a great young player with a fantastic future and he has to accept that.
"It doesn't worry me. He is 6ft tall and is built like Ronaldo. He is strong. He can take it.''
Tottenham are looking to bounce back from a disappointing derby defeat to north London rivals Arsenal, and Redknapp remains hopeful Rafael van der Vaart (calf), Ledley King (knee) and Kyle Walker (ankle) will be available for Sunday's clash against the champions.
"Van der Vaart is hopefully going to train today. He feels a lot better," Redknapp said. "Ledley is not bad. Hopefully he will come out tomorrow. We will see how he is. Kyle Walker is okay. He should be okay. He got a knock but he should be fit."
Redknapp has urged his players to accept they had a bad game and put the defeat to Arsenal behind them.
"We had a bad weekend last weekend but it was a one-off," Redknapp admitted. "Since the first two games of the season we have not really had a bad game, even though we have lost a couple.
"Last week was the first bad day that we have had but it happens. Everybody has those days. All the clubs have had them this year and you have to accept that you will have days like that."
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