Real Madrid reportedly won't rush Gareth Bale back to starting duty after his return from a long-term injury.
Gareth Bale has impressed his Real Madrid teammates and the club's coaching staff with his performances and fitness after being three months out through injury.
Nevertheless, Real officials are keen to avoid rushing the Welshman back to first team action -even with fierce rivals Barcelona their next opponents on Saturday.
Reported by Marca, the 28-year-old is not yet at full fitness and will not be a starter at the weekend for the Catalans' visit to the capital.
The main focus of Real's coaching team is to gradually reintroduce him into the starting XI, allowing him to overcome his injury nightmare and physically adjust to the demands of first team action.
If there are no further injury setbacks, then Real coach Zinedine Zidane will increase his expectations of the talented winger and look to start him in games. However, for the immediate future Bale will have to settle for the role of impact sub, a position he appears to be comfortable with for the time being at least.
Right now, for all concerned, his best possible contribution is coming on late in a game and using his pure power and electrifying speed against tiring opposition to have the greatest impact and benefit. Zidane clearly thinks the same and has at his disposal the best possible option from the bench - a player who can turn a match's momentum.
This was most evident in the recent FIFA Club World Cup competition in the United Arab Emirates; Bale's impact could not have been greater in the fleeting appearances that he made from the substitutes' bench.
For the long term benefit and success of Real Madrid, a 100% fit Gareth Bale is vital and so taking a cautious approach in his recovery is the right approach.