• World Cup qualifiers

Wales promise Spurs they won't risk Bale

ESPN staff
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Gareth Bale has an ankle problem © Getty Images
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Tottenham have been given the assurance that Gareth Bale will not be risked for Wales' World Cup qualifier against Croatia if he is not fully fit.

Bale, 23, started the 2-1 victory against Scotland but was forced off with an ankle injury at half-time. However, he later claimed he was confident of returning for the game against Croatia on Tuesday.

But Wales coach Chris Coleman is unsure, and has told Tottenham he will be fair to them in the context of their pursuit of Champions League football.

"We only had Gareth for 45 minutes - and albeit a jaded Gareth Bale," he said. "He's been ill and had a knock on his ankle, but he wanted to play.

"He said he felt fine so that's why we started him. He had another knock after 30-35 minutes on the same ankle, so we had to bring him off.

"I don't know if he will be okay. I'm not sitting on the fence, but the next 24 hours will be crucial. All we can do is wrap him up in cotton wool. If he is not ready, then we can't risk him.

"We won't because we have to be fair to Tottenham. They never stand in his way and he always comes along. Gareth likes to come, but we have to look after him."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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