Saturday, December 16, 2017

Zidane unsure on Bale´s Madrid return

SoccerNews in La Liga 13 May 2017

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Zinedine Zidane remains unsure when Gareth Bale will be available for Real Madrid again but hopes it will be soon.

Wales international Bale sustained a calf injury in the Champions League quarter-final victory over Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena on April 12 and lasted less than 45 minutes on his return against Barcelona 11 days later.

The 27-year-old has not featured since and has just four more chances to feature this season with Madrid chasing glory in LaLiga and Europe.

Zidane revealed Bale’s condition is improving, but admitted he is unsure when the forward will be in a suitable condition to return to the pitch.

He told a news conference ahead of Sunday’s LaLiga match against Sevilla: “We have to see day to day with Gareth Bale. He is continuing in the gym, working, trying to get rid of his discomfort.

“It’s getting better, but you have to go day by day. But he’s not even training with us. I cannot tell you when he will return, but hopefully it is soon.”

Another player who will not feature at Santiago Bernabeu this weekend is Pepe.

The experienced centre-back has been struggling with a rib injury and has been linked with a move to Inter or AC Milan when his contract expires at the end of the campaign.

Zidane paid tribute to Pepe’s contribution to the club since joining in 2007 but said he is unable to clarify what the 34-year-old’s future holds at the moment.

“Pepe’s career has been spectacular,” said the Madrid coach. “It’s been 10 years where he’s done fantastic things, but with this I’m not telling you what is going to happen next year because I do not know.

“He will not be in the squad tomorrow because of his rib. He trained with us, but it’s not quite right.”

Madrid sit second to Barcelona in LaLiga due to an inferior head-to-head record, but Zidane’s side possess a game in hand which they play against Celta Vigo on Wednesday.

With Juventus in the Champions League final following their final league outing away to Malaga, Zidane called for concentration to ensure the season does not fall apart.

“We have done phenomenally so far. We look very good in LaLiga and are in the Champions League final, but it does not mean anything,” said the Frenchman.

“We have three finals in LaLiga remaining and we are going to start with the first one.

“The three matches are very difficult. The one in Seville because they are always high up in the table and are a very good team.

“Look at what Celta are doing, and Malaga are in impressive shape at the moment. But we are only thinking about tomorrow.”

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