Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane has confirmed that Gareth Bale is finally fit to return for Saturday’s La Liga game at home to Celta Vigo.
Bale, 26, has missed almost two months of action since picking up a calf injury in January — when he had been on a fine run of form, having scored 11 goals in his previous eight games.
Madrid have had mixed results during the Wales international’s absence, doing well in the Champions League against Roma, but slipping out of contention in the La Liga title race after draws at Real Betis and Malaga as well as last weekend’s 1-0 defeat to Atletico Madrid.
Zidane told a news conference that Bale was now ready to be selected for Saturday’s game against Celta, with the Champions League round-of-16 second leg at home to Roma coming up on Tuesday.
“The first thing is that Gareth will be in the squad tomorrow,” Zidane said. “That is very good, makes us very happy, the fans too. The important thing is that he is with us, with Real Madrid.”
Zidane is sure to make a number of changes from Wednesday’s 3-1 La Liga win at Levante.
Left-back Marcelo is also fit again, while fellow defenders Sergio Ramos and Dani Carvajal return from suspension. However, Toni Kroos is suffering from a bout of flu and Luka Modric remains sidelined with a foot problem.
“Modric will not be in the squad, Marcelo will,” Zidane said. “I do not want to take risks as we have Tuesday’s game and Luka is not yet ready to play. Kroos is not in the squad tomorrow as he has the flu and is not ready.”
Even with Barca 12 points ahead of Madrid in La Liga, Zidane said he would not be resting any players against Celta to prioritise the Champions League.
Gareth Bale enjoyed one of his finest performances in a Real Madrid shirt in Saturday’s 5-0 victory over Deportivo.