Real Madrid star Gareth Bale has been told by manager Zinedine Zidane that he will not be going on international duty with Wales this week as the winger continues his rehabilitation from a calf injury.
Bale has been out since the 26th September, but the Welshman made his return to first-team training this week, alongside full-back Dani Carvajal, who is also making his return from injury.
However, despite his recent return to fitness, Bale has been instructed by Zidane that he will play no part in Real Madrid’s match-up against Las Palmas, and will not be able to play in either of Wales’ friendlies against France and Panama.
Though the 28-year-old knew he would not be included for the squad against Las Palmas, he had hoped that he’d be able to play for Wales during the international break, but Zidane has decided against it as Bale looks to return to full fitness.
Reported by The Sun, Zidane said: "He is fine but Gareth is not going to be in the squad (to face Las Palmas) and he is not going to go with his national team. He's had two training sessions with us and we want him to remain with us so he is ready as soon as possible."
Madrid have found themselves in poor form of late, suffering two successive losses against Girona and Tottenham respectively- only the second time Zidane has seen back-to-back defeats.
However, the Frenchman is determined to keep positive in spite of Real’s recent dry spell, looking to respond in style against Las Palmas later this evening.
"We need to think positively. It's not going to change anything about what we want to achieve this season,” said Zidane. “This is football and sometimes you have bad spells. It's nothing new, it happened to us last year and we achieved important things at the end of the season. We can play better, but I don't think our problem is playing badly."
Madrid currently find themselves sitting in a humbling fourth place, 11 points behind league-leaders Barcelona with a game in hand. Meanwhile, Las Palmas are 19th in the table following six successive losses. They will look to beat Real for the first time in 16 years.