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Gareth Bale out for up to four months following ankle surgery

Real Madrid superstar Gareth Bale could be out for up to four month after undergoing surgery on an injured right ankle, according to press reports in Spain.

Gareth Bale out for up to four months following ankle surgery
Photo: AFP

It was initially hoped that Bale could be back in action within two to three months after suffering the injury to the peroneal tendons in his ankle during Real's 2-1 Champions League win at Sporting Lisbon last week.


Photo: AFP

However, after undergoing surgery in London on Tuesday, Madrid sports daily AS reported the Welshman is unlikely to return before April.   

As well as a huge blow to Madrid's hopes in La Liga, Copa del Rey and Champions League, Bale's absence could prove fatal to Wales' chances of qualifying for the World Cup for the first time since 1958.

After a glorious run to the semi-finals of Euro 2016, Chris Coleman's side trail Group D leaders Republic of Ireland by four points ahead of the sides meeting in Dublin on March 24th.

Bale is certain to miss Saturday's El Clasico against Barcelona, the Club World Cup later this month and the first leg of Real's last 16 Champions League tie.

SPORT

Spain thrown out of 2023 Rugby World Cup

Spain have been thrown out of the 2023 Rugby World Cup for fielding an ineligible South African-born player during the qualifying stages and will be replaced by Romania, World Rugby announced on Thursday.

Spain thrown out of 2023 Rugby World Cup

“Subject to Spain’s right of appeal, the 10-point deduction applied to the Rugby World Cup 2023 qualification table means that Romania will qualify as Europe 2 into Pool B replacing Spain,” read the statement.

Portugal — who Spain beat to seal their place in the global showpiece in France next year — replace Romania in the Final Qualification Tournament taking place in November 2022.

“Spain has a right of appeal within 14 days of the date of the full written decision of the committee,” read the statement.

According to Spanish media in March, the player under investigation was South African-born prop Gavin van den Berg, who has been playing in Spain since 2018.

He played twice against the Netherlands, in 2020 and 2021, in qualifiers, but he may not seemingly have served the three years of residency needed to become eligible under World Rugby rules.

Spain, Romania and Belgium were all sanctioned in 2018 for having fielded ineligible players, opening the way for Russia to qualify for the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.

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