• La Liga

Real deny Bale back surgery claims

ESPN staff
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The problem was reportedly found before Gareth Bale joined the club © Getty Images
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Real Madrid have denied reports that Gareth Bale may require back surgery.

Bale's start to his life at Real has so far been blighted by injuries with Marca reporting that he has a slipped disc in his back.

After becoming the world's most expensive player at €100 million when signing for Los Blancos from Tottenham near the end of the summer transfer deadline, Bale has had limited playing time. He netted on his debut against Villarreal and made a couple of substitute appearances, but he has been suffering from a thigh injury for the past few weeks.

The 24-year-old is expected to return to action for Madrid for their Champions League clash against Juventus on October 26 and for the Clasico with Barcelona just three days later.

The report says Bale had told the club he had been unaware of the problem and was in no pain. It adds that it will not prevent him playing but could lead to "a very serious problem with the Welsh player at any moment", with surgery a distinct possibility.

Marca said the scan "set alarm bells ringing at the Sanitas clinic in La Moraleja" but added: "There was no going back on the signing. The deal was done and [club president] Florentino Perez, who was now up to speed on Bale's secret, did not object."

However Real have issued a statement insisting Bale has no major issue, though they did confirm he had a 'disc bulge'. It read: "The information published, claiming that the player has a slipped disc on the L5-S1 vertebrae and a bulge on two others, is completely false.

"The player does not have a slipped disc, as the club's medical services stated clearly to the newspaper before the information was published. Surprisingly, the version the doctors offered this media outlet on Thursday 10 October has been omitted.

"The player Gareth Bale has a small chronic disc bulge, which is extremely common among football players and by no means prevents him from carrying out his professional activity normally."

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