Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale to sit out upcoming Wales friendlies
Last Updated: 04/11/17 3:18pm
Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane says Gareth Bale will stay with the club to work on his fitness next week rather than join Wales for a pair of friendlies.
Bale has just returned to training with the European champions, after five weeks on the sidelines with a calf injury.
However, he will sit out Real's La Liga clash at home to Las Palmas on Sunday and will remain in the Spanish capital, despite being included in Wales boss Chris Coleman's 24-man squad earlier this week.
Zidane said: "He won't be in the squad (for Sunday) and he won't go with his national team.
"After 35 days with his injury, he has had two training sessions, and we want him to stay here to be ready as soon as possible."
Bale sustained his injury during Real's Champions League victory over Borussia Dortmund six weeks ago.
He has since missed seven matches for the Spanish side and was also absent for Wales' final two World Cup qualifiers against Georgia and the Republic of Ireland last month, as the Dragons failed to qualify for the 2018 finals in Russia.
Zidane is facing his first troubled time as Madrid coach after a spectacularly successful first 22 months in charge that have included back-to-back Champions League wins and last season's La Liga title.
Real trail La Liga leaders Barcelona by eight points and lost 3-1 at Tottenham Hotspur in the Champions League in midweek.
However, just two weeks on from being crowned the best coach in the world by FIFA for Real's success last season, Zidane says he is not panicking now.
"I'm not the best coach in the world," he said. "People said I was and gave me this prize for the season we had and I accepted it.
"Now, I'm not the worst coach in the world either. I am always in the middle, not too high, not too low.
"Life is full of good days and bad days. What I and the players have to do is think positively."