Bale Blow For Wales

Gareth Bale

Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale has been ruled out of Wales’ last two World Cup qualifiers against Georgia and the Republic of Ireland with a calf strain.

The 28-year-old could be out for a month and that would also rule Bale out of the play-offs on 9-14 November.

Wales are second in Group D and if they keep that spot it could be enough to earn them a place in the play-offs.

Bale joined the Wales squad on Monday and, despite sitting out training, it had been hoped he would be fit.

But a scan revealed the severity of the injury and means Bale will not travel to Georgia for Friday’s game in Tblisi and will play no part in the Cardiff clash with Republic of Ireland three days later.

Real manager Zinedine Zidane had played down concerns about Bale’s fitness, saying he rested him for Sunday’s win over Espanyol as a precaution.

Barnsley striker Tom Bradshaw has been called up to the Wales squad in Bale’s place.

Bale’s absence is a huge blow to Welsh hopes of qualifying for a first World Cup since 1958.