Real Madrid winger Gareth Bale exited the Jan. 17 match against Sporting Gijon with a calf injury. He returned to competitive action on Saturday.
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Bales Returns vs. Celta Vigo
Saturday, March 5
Bale entered as a 65th-minute substitute during the match against Celta Vigo.
Madrid Speedster Delayed by Setback
Tuesday, Feb. 9
According to Marca (via the Sun), Bale aggravated his calf injury while training in special sand ahead of Madrid's match against Roma.
Bale Sidelined During Purple Patch
The former Tottenham Hotspur star has been a divisive figure among Real's supporters since arriving at the club in 2013.
The £85.3 million fee the Spanish giants paid to secure Bale's services did him no favours upon his arrival. A poor run of form toward the end of last season drew criticism from a section of the fanbase, and some inside the Santiago Bernabeu booed him during a January 2015 match, believing he wasn't passing to Cristiano Ronaldo enough.
However, he had begun to change the narrative prior to his latest setback.
In order to compensate for Bale's absence, Zidane deployed Isco in a more forward position or relied on Lucas Vazquez down the right flank—two strategies former manager Rafael Benitez used earlier this season. Jese and James Rodriguez aren't natural right-wingers, but they also filled in for Bale when needed.