Mar 24, 2011

Bale could be back in 10 days

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Wales manager Gary Speed thinks that Gareth Bale's hamstring injury is unlikely to require more than 10 days of rehabilitation.

The Tottenham star will miss Saturday's Euro 2012 qualifier against England after the Football Association of Wales announced that he arrived for training at the start of the week at less than 100 per cent fitness.

After pulling out of a training session on Tuesday before having a scan on Wednesday, it was confirmed on Thursday, amid initial confusion as to the cause of the injury, that Bale would be unable to play this weekend.

The 21-year-old has therefore returned to Tottenham and his club will now aim to ensure their star asset is fit for the UEFA Champions League quarter-final first leg at Real Madrid on 5th April.

Bale had only played three matches for Spurs since returning from more than a month on the sidelines with a back problem, but Speed does not believe that there is reason for the North London club to panic over the latest setback.

Asked if he thought the player was injury-prone, Speed told a press conference broadcast live on Sky Sports News on Thursday: "I don't think he's very fragile, his playing record this season when he played the first 30 games and the way he plays, he is so explosive, there comes a time in a season when he is going to need a rest.

"I'm sure he will play next week, I'm sure it [the injury] is only a 10-day thing."

Despite Bale being highlighted as one of the key players in Wales' bid to beat England in Cardiff, Speed stressed that he is more interested in the long-term rather than the short-term benefits of risking the winger.

"The next three-and-a-half years are more important than the next three-and-a-half days," added the former Sheffield United boss, who has inherited a side without a point from three matches in Euro 2012 qualifying Group G.

"We want to be successful and the best way we can be successful is to get our players out on the pitch in the best shape they can be."



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