Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale is set to miss the showdown against arch-rivals Barcelona on Dec. 3 after the club announced on Wednesday that the Wales international had injured his ankle in Tuesday’s 2-1 win at Sporting Lisbon in the Champions League.
“After tests carried out on our player Gareth Bale at the Sanitas La Moraleja University Hospital, he has been diagnosed with a traumatic dislocation of the… tendons of his right ankle. His recovery will continue to be assessed,” Real said in a statement on Wednesday.
Zidane’s team are four points ahead of Barcelona at the top of La Liga and play Sporting Gijon on Saturday before travelling to the champions for their first El Clasico meeting this season.
Real will also be without Spanish striker Alvaro Morata and Germany international Toni Kroos for the trip to the Nou Camp, but have been boosted by the return of midfield anchor Casemiro from a fractured leg that had kept him out for two months.
A late goal by Karim Benzema helped Real see off Sporting and clinched a place in the knockout stages of Europe’s elite club competition for the 20th successive season.
Real are second in Group F, two points behind Borussia Dortmund, and will aim to pip their German rivals for top spot when they meet in Madrid in their final group game on Dec. 7. (Reporting by Richard Martin in Barcelona; Additional reporting by Simon Jennings in Bengaluru; Editing by John O’Brien and Ken Ferris)