Gareth Bale will miss Real Madrid’s game against Villarreal after sustaining another injury.
The Welshman’s season has been blighted by physical issues - he has only started 18 league games - and the latest is a lower back injury.
It’s unclear how Bale suffered the injury but many Spanish outlets claim that the 26-year-old picked it up during a round of golf.
SUBMIT AN ARTICLE
Apply to become a GMS writer by signing up and submitting a 250-word test article: http://gms.to/haveyoursay5
Article continues below
Of course, golf isn’t the most strenuous of exercises and one suspects that an athlete of Bale’s capacity could go through an 18-hole course without any problems.
Yet the claim was put to Zinedine Zidane in his pre-match press conference and, though the Madrid boss doesn’t think a round of golf is to blame, he admitted he isn’t sure how the injury came about.
Article continues below
“I don't know whether he played golf or not, but I don't think he did," Zidane said on Tuesday, per Sport.
“He has an over-use injury in his lower back. I can't tell you exactly what it is because I am not a doctor."
Bale attended the Spanish Open on Sunday, one day after scoring in Madrid’s 5-1 win over Getafe.
And while in San Roque, he found the time to play two rounds of golf, according to AS.
Might miss City clash
Bale’s latest setback is a blow to Real Madrid’s La Liga and Champions League hopes - Sport believe he is a doubt for next week’s semi-final first leg clash against Manchester City.
The former Tottenham star has helped Los Blancos fight their way back into the title race, clawing back their 12-point deficit to Barcelona to just a single point.
Madrid will be hoping to capitalise on Barcelona’s recent slump by overtaking them tonight.
Luis Enrique’s team travel to Deportivo La Coruna and Atletico Madrid, level on points with the Catalan outfit, take on Athletic Bilbao.
Those games take place before Real Madrid host Europa League semi-finalists Villarreal.
Real Madrid are ready to pounce
Barcelona’s run of poor form kickstarted when they lost El Clasico at the start of the month. They’ve lost both of their league fixtures since.
Bale, then, was right when he said that doubt has crept into the heads of Barcelona’s players after their 2-1 defeat to Zidane’s side.
“As I said after the Barcelona game, a loss always creates a doubt in the team for them and hopefully that's the case," Bale said, per Sport.
“All we can do is concentrate on ourselves and try and win every game and see where that takes us."
The world’s most expensive player won’t be around for Madrid’s next game but Zidane can only hope Bale is ready for Tuesday’s game at the Etihad Stadium.
In the meantime, he’s better off staying away from any golf courses.
What is the most bizarre injury that has happened to a player? Have your say in the comments section below!