By Tom Prosser
Gareth Bale has reportedly suffered a long-term hamstring injury which would comes as a crushing blow to both Wales and Bale who was set to win his 100th cap against the Czech Republic next month.
According to Marca, the severity of the damage which the Welshman suffered was confirmed after undergoing tests in recent days.
Robert Page’s men will be hoping that his injury is not as serious as first thought as Bale will have a key role to play if Wales are to qualify for their first World Cup since 1958.
The 32-year-old who is still his Wales’ key player, scored a hat-trick earlier this month as they scraped past Belarus with a late Bale winner.
Bale, who had fallen out of favour at Real Madrid, was fighting his way back into contention at the Bernabeu.
He played all three of his team’s first three league games, scoring in a thrilling 3-3 tie with Levante, and looked to have the confidence of the Italian manager, with whom he won the Copa del Rey and the Champions League in 2014.
However, he did not play in Real Madrid’s home match against Celta Vigo, with Eden Hazard taking his position on the right-wing.
Bale’s injuries have been more frequent in the last few years and he had a frustrating time with injury whilst on loan at Tottenham last season.
He was out for 40 days owing to a knee ailment, then 10 days due to sickness, then another 18 days due to a muscle injury.
He ended the year with 11 goals and 2 assists during his time at the club.
The forward’s Real Madrid career has also been hindered by injuries, and his current setback means he will have missed 102 games due to injury during his tenure at the club.
The Spanish press have even gone as far to say that depending on the severity of this injury, Bale may have now played his last game in professional football.
Wales will be hoping that these reports aren’t true as Bale remains a pivotal player and role model for his country.