Gareth Bale set to return in March

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane hopes to have Gareth Bale available by early March following injury.

Bale has been sidelined since late November after undergoing surgery to repair the ankle tendon damage he suffered during a Champions League match against Sporting Lisbon.

Speaking today, Zidane did not give an exact date as to when Bale might return, but is keeping his fingers crossed the 27-year-old will be available in time for the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie with Napoli on March 7.

Bale receiving treatment during last November’s Champions League clash which saw him injure his ankle.

The Frenchman told a press conference ahead of Real Madrid’s trip to Osasuna: “I hope that Bale is back with us before the return leg against Napoli. He still has to return to team training, which is the most important thing.

Madrid, who are one point clear at the top of La Liga and have two games in hand on all their title rivals, are scheduled to play at least seven matches before their trip to Naples, including the first leg at home to Napoli next Wednesday and league trips to Valencia and Villarreal.

Wales manager Chris Coleman will hope to have Bale at his disposal for their crucial World Cup qualifier against the Republic of Ireland on March 24.

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