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Bale suffers calf injury in training

ESPN staff
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Gareth Bale underwent tests on the problem on Wednesday © Getty Images
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Real Madrid are hopeful that Gareth Bale will be fit for Sunday's La Liga trip to Valencia after picking up a calf injury in a challenge with a team-mate in training.

Bale had been expected to feature in Wednesday evening's Copa del Rey clash with third-tier Olimpic de Xativa at the Bernabeu, but he has been ruled out of the game after suffering an injury on Tuesday morning.

The Wales international underwent tests on Wednesday, with the club later releasing a statement confirming the injury but not specifying when Bale was likely to return.

"After the tests carried out this morning on the player Gareth Bale by the Servicios Medicos Sanitas Real Madrid, it was confirmed that he had just suffered bruising in the calf muscle of his left leg as the consequence of a bang received from a team-mate during yesterday's training session," the statement said. "His participation in next Sunday's game against Valencia CF has not been ruled out."

Speaking at his news conference after training on Tuesday, Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti had suggested the issue was not too serious.

"[Bale] had a problem with his calf half an hour ago and we'll have to see how he progresses," Ancelotti said in quotes reported by the club's official website. "It does not look like he'll have problems playing on Sunday."

La Liga's winter break starts next weekend, with Bale expected to return to the UK to spend Christmas with his family before reporting back for duty with Madrid ahead of their first game of 2014 at home to Celta Vigo on Monday January 6.

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