Bale suffers another setback

01 December 2017 09:27:00 EST

Real Madrid ace Gareth Bale has suffered yet another injury setback, with a calf problem meaning he will miss the clash with Athletic Bilbao.

The 28-year-old Wales international forward returned to action in midweek in the Cope del Rey match-up with Fuenlabrada, having spent the previous two months on the sidelines.

It is nothing serious, it is just a niggle and we don't want to take any risks.

Zinedine Zidane

However, Bale suffered a slight reaction to his return to the fold and Real head coach Zinedine Zidane has ruled his player out of the game at the San Mames on Saturday.

He told the Spanish media: "It is nothing serious, it is just a niggle and we don't want to take any risks.

"Gareth's problem is that he is a very strong, very powerful player and he needs to feel right to play.

"It is a tough time for him right now, but we will come through it and all the people around Gareth have to show him a lot of affection until he is better.

"We can't forget he is an important player for us and, when he is fit, he is phenomenal. We need to be patient."

Bale, who moved to the Bernabeu from Tottenham Hotspur in the summer of 2013, has been limited to eight starts and ten appearances in total in all competitions so far this season, scoring twice in La Liga and once in the Champions League.

In his absence Real are 15/2 to win 2-1 in Bilbao on Saturday, having claimed victory by that scoreline in this fixture in each of the last two seasons.

A 2-2 draw is priced at 14/1, while the men from Madrid are available at 13/8 to keep a clean sheet.

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