Real Madrid attacker Gareth Bale has reportedly suffered a fresh injury which is expected to prolong his return to first-team action. The Wales international had not featured for the European champions since late September, and it appears that he could be sidelined for another month at the least.

According to Marca, the 28-year-old could be out of action until December after he sustained a thigh muscular strain in training earlier in the week. The news is unlikely to make for good reading for Zinedine Zidane, who has been without the Welshman for the best part of six weeks.

Bale was initially picked by Wales for their international friendlies against France and Panama, but Los Blancos decided against his participation in the hope that he would fully recover from his calf problem for the local derby versus Atletico Madrid game on November 18.

The fresh injury is likely to add frustration to both the player as well as Real Madrid, who have made a slow start to proceedings in the Spanish La Liga this term. The reigning champions are presently eight points behind table-toppers Barcelona in the standings and their forwards have struggled for form.

Both Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo have netted just once in this season’s La Liga campaign, and the availability of Bale would undoubtedly have boosted their morale with the Welshman having found the scoresheet twice in just five league appearances.

Nevertheless, Zidane has plenty of other goalscoring options in his ranks with Spanish duo Isco and Marco Asensio capable of stepping up to the plate in what is a key Madrid derby following the international break.

Real Madrid have an away trip to APOEL Nicosia in the Champions League following the Atleti game, and they require just a point to seal their last 16 berth, should Borussia Dortmund claim a win versus Tottenham Hotspur in the other group meeting.

Image – Getty

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