Gareth Bale Close To Madrid Return
Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane has revealed that Gareth Bale’s two-month injury lay-off could be coming to an end as he nears a first-team return.
The Wales star has been sidelined since November after picking up an ankle injury during a Champions League win over Sporting Lisbon.
Bale underwent surgery to cure the problem, and Zidane believes he will be able to call upon the former world-record signing as he steps up his recovery process.
Speaking after Madrid’s 3-0 win over Real Sociedad at the Bernabeu, the Frenchman said: ‘Bale? He’s now [working] on the pitch with his boots.’
Victory on Sunday saw the Champions League holders extend their lead at the top of La Liga to four points, and Zidane admitted it was a crucial win.
‘More than a victory? It’s a very important victory for us after a difficult few days,’ he added.
‘It was a very complete match against a very complicated team to face. It was very important for us to have kept a clean sheet. In addition to that, results have favoured us.’
Goals from Mateo Kovacic, Cristiano Ronaldo and Alvaro Morata eased Real to their 14th win of the season and stretched their lead over Barcelona and Sevilla with a game in hand.
Luis Enrique’s side leapfrogged La Liga’s surprise package into second place, despite being held to a drew by Real Betis.
Jorge Sampaoli’s side went down 3-1 at Espanyol, only their fourth defeat of the season.