Real Madrid star Bale out of Copa del Rey derby against Atletico

The former Tottenham attacker remains sidelined with the calf problem that saw him miss Sunday’s trip to San Mames to face Athletic Bilbao

Real Madrid have been rocked by the loss of Gareth Bale for Wednesday night’s Copa del Rey semi-final, first-leg clash with city rivals Atletico.

The Wales international sat out last weekend’s Liga meeting with Athletic Bilbao because of a calf problem but it had been hoped that the €100 million would be available to face the Rojiblancos.

However, the game at the Santiago Bernabeu has come too soon for Bale, who has been plagued by injuries since arriving at Madrid from Tottenham last summer.

The attacker’s absence means that the in-form Jese Rodriguez is likely to start up frong alongside Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo, who is free to play as his three-game ban for being sent off at San Mames will only end up covering Liga matches.

Madrid’s eagerly-awaited meeting with Atletico is scheduled to kick off at the Santiago Bernabeu at 20:00CET.

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