?Real Madrid will be without the injured Gareth Bale as they face Mallorca on Saturday afternoon, with the Welshman also expected to miss the Champions League meeting with Galatasaray three days later.
The forward’s tidy finish drew his nation level in their European qualifying match against Croatia on the weekend, before pulling up midway through the second half with a calf problem. Though he finished the game, subsequent tests by Real’s medical have seen Bale ruled out for up to two weeks.
?Los Blancos resumed first-team training this week following the international break, yet the 30-year-old was unable to participate due to the ongoing pain in his calf, depriving Zinedine Zidane of one of his standout performers this season.
Speaking to ?El Chringuito TV, Spanish journalist Edu Aguirre claimed that Bale will be unavailable as Madrid prepare for a crucial week in both domestic and continental competition.
Real overcame a stuttering start to their 2019/20 ?La Liga campaign by winning four of their last five league fixtures, that run of results leaving them two points clear of ?Barcelona at the top of the table.
However, Zidane and his recruits must also make amends for a poor beginning to their ?Champions League group, having collected only one point from their first two matches.
They sit bottom of the pool, though Los Blancos are below Galatasaray on goal difference alone, courtesy of their 3-0 humbling away to Paris Saint-Germain in gameweek one.
Last term, a ruthless Ajax dumped Real out in the round of 16, with Madrid realistically needing a win against their Turkish opponents next week to avoid posting an even worse performance this time around.
The loss of Bale is a sizeable blow for Zidane, despite his personal issues with the winger, who has been impressive for club and country this year, hitting a total of four goals and three assists.
For more from Ed Alexander, follow him on Twitter!