Give Bale until after Christmas, suggests Coleman

Wales manager Chris Coleman has suggested that Gareth Bale may not be back to his best until next year, following the Real Madrid midfielder’s injury set-back, reports ESPN.

Bale, who has been struggling with a thigh injury, has also been reported to be suffering with a back problem. The 24-year-old has made just the one La Liga start for Real Madrid since joining from Tottenham Hotspur for a world record fee of £86m.

Despite Real suggesting that Bale will be back for the Clasico at the end of October, Coleman is concerned the winger wont be back properly until the New Year. “I took a lot of criticism in the last camp against Macedonia and Serbia for not playing Gareth,” he said. “Why would I not play him if he was fit?

He had no pre-season training. Anyone who has played top-level professional football will know that if you have no pre-season and expect to pick up where you finished the season before then you are bonkers and crackers. It doesn’t happen. You can’t miss a whole preseason.

So I won’t be surprised if it’s after Christmas before we see Gareth properly getting into it again. It may take him some time to get back to that especially with the extra pressure on him of going to Real Madrid. It’s difficult for him.

I don’t know how serious the injury is. I hope it’s not, but it may take time to see what Gareth is capable of and what we’ve seen from him before.

Despite Bale’s lack of appearances for Real, the 24-year-old scored on his debut against Villerreal, before being substituted later in the match. Bale had a prolific season for Spurs last year, scoring 21 goals in 33 Premier League appearances.

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