Gareth Bale Injury To Be Felt In Many Competitions
The good news for Spanish powerhouse Real Madrid: It is atop La Liga Primera and the 4/5 favorite in Casino Pros soccer odds to win in the title; in addition, Real Madrid are one of 12 clubs through to the Round of 16 in the Champions League. However, Real winning either of those titles got more difficult last Tuesday when Welsh superstar Gareth Bale was hurt in Real's 2-1 win over Sporting Lisbon in the Champions League. A draw would have been enough to send the La Liga leaders through from Group F alongside Borussia Dortmund.
Bale hurt his right ankle early in the first half of the match in a challenge with Sporting defender Sebastian Coates. Bale received treatment and tried to play through it, but In the 58th minute Bale was replaced by Marco Asensio. Tests showed Bale suffered a tendon injury in his right ankle that requires surgery (to be done November 29 in London) and he could miss up to four months.
Real haven't released an official timetable but players who undergo ankle operations for tendon problems usually miss a minimum of two months. Former Real Madrid chief doctor Alfonso del Corral had earlier recommended that Bale have the operation instead of following a conservative treatment for the injury. Bale, 27, had been key to the Los Merengues' 19-game unbeaten start to the season, scoring seven times in all competition.
So, at a minimum, Bale is out the rest of 2017 and into late January. He will miss the El Clasico away to rival Barcelona on December 3 as well as Real's Champions League match on December 7 against Borussia Dortmund with first place in Group F on the line. Real need to win to finish atop the group ahead of the German side.
Bale also will miss the Club World Cup, which takes place in Japan between December 8-18. Madrid's first game is on the 15th in Yokohama. Should Madrid advance at the tournament, the final will be played on December 18. It's possible Bale will be back for Champions League knockout stages, which kick off on February 14.
If the former Tottenham star is out the long end of the timeline, then it brings into play his availability for Wales in the next round of World Cup qualifying. Wales are third in Group D with 6 points and have had disappointing home draws against Serbia and Georgia. Ireland leads the group with 10 points and Serbia are second with eight. Wales's trip to Ireland on March 24 at the Aviva Stadium looks pivotal to their hopes. Wales are currently priced at 5/6 on soccer odds to qualify out of Group D.
Of course, Bale was a big reason why Wales reached the semifinals of Euro 2016 in France, only to be eliminated at the hands of Portugal and Real Madrid teammate Cristiano Ronaldo.