World-record signing Gareth Bale was at the centre of intrigue on Saturday amid claim and counterclaim over a back injury.
However, Miguel Angel Garcia and Hugo Cerezo of Spanish newspaper Marca reported on Saturday morning that the 24-year-old had a slipped disc in his back. The report claimed that the problem would not prevent Bale from playing for Real "in the foreseeable future" but might require surgery eventually.
Garcia and Cerezo added that Real president Florentino Perez knew about the injury after it was discovered during an MRI scan performed at the Sanitas clinic in La Moraleja, which is just outside the Spanish capital.
According to the report, Bale said he did not know about the injury and had never had a problem in that area before. Ultimately, Perez pushed through the transfer after the Spanish club had courted the player throughout the summer.
Real countered the Marca claims with an official statement which was released on the club's official website, insisting that the reports of a slipped disc were untrue. The club admitted that Bale does have a "small chronic disc bulge" but made it clear that it will not stop him from playing.
In response to the information that the newspaper Marca has published today regarding the player Gareth Bale, Real Madrid would like to state the following:
1. The information published, claiming that the player has a slipped disc on the L5-S1 vertebrae and a bulge on two others, is completely false.
2. The player does not have a slipped disc, as the club's medical services stated clearly to the newspaper before the information was published. Surprisingly, the version the doctors offered this media outlet on Thursday 10 October has been omitted.
3. The player Gareth Bale has a small chronic disc bulge, which is extremely common among football players and by no means prevents him from carrying out his professional activity normally.
Bale made his debut for Real Madrid in a 2-2 draw with Villarreal on Sept. 14, where he also scored for the Spanish giants.
His time at the Bernabeu has recently been hampered by a thigh injury, and he has not featured for the club since a substitute appearance in the home defeat by Atletico Madrid two weeks ago.