Zinedine Zidane believes that Gareth Bale is on the road to recovery following a thigh injury that has seen him make only three appearances for the Spanish side since his record £86million transfer from Tottenham Hotspur this summer.

The Welshman was forced to withdraw from his national side this week ahead of their 2014 World Cup qualifying matches against Macedonia and Belgium, with Wales boss Chris Coleman less than impressed with the so-called 'overuse' of Bale.

He attacked the Berabeu side, claiming that the winger was overworked and his thigh problem had been aggravated as a result in the Spanish capital.

He also pointed out that the lack of a pre-season programme has essentially 'thrown Bale in at the deep end'.

Zidane has now defended Real Madrid, insisting that the 24-year-old should be back on form soon, and that he has integrated at the club and been well received by everyone.

He told Sport360 in Abu Dhabi: "He was lacking a bit of physical preparation when he arrived so it has been a bit delicate in the beginning with his physical state.

"The only thing that is lacking with his condition is that he hasn’t trained enough with the rest of the team. He has a lot of willpower and has now re-started training. He will be ready."

Bale is expected to return to action for Madrid's game against Malaga on 19th October, at the earliest.

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