AFTER reporting to the Welsh training camp, prior to vital World Cup qualifying matches, Gareth Bale was declared unfit by the Welsh FA medical team.
This is a major blow for the Welsh Squad and manager Chris Coleman as the next two matches are against Georgia (today Thursday) and more importantly the Republic of Ireland (next Monday) who sit just one point behind Wales.
It appears that group leaders Serbia are most likely to secure the automatic qualification to the World Cup finals, but the runners up may well get through to a second round play-off and Bales presence in the team could have made the difference between winning and losing.
Having returned to the Bernabéu stadium in Madrid, the team doctors have checked Bale out and said that he has a swelling but no tear in his left leg which was caused by an injury picked up during the Champions League victory at Borussia Dortmund.
Rather than a month or more, it is now believed that with careful monitoring, he will only be out of action for 10 to 15 days.
It was rumoured during the last transfer window that the 28-year-old was no longer as popular with the Real Madrid hierarchy as he was when he joined from Spurs at a fee estimated to be between €78 million and €100 million.