That’s according to Marca, who claims Doctor Jesus Olmo is the subject of the Frenchman’s ire after the player’s setback. Speaking ahead of the clash with Athletic Bilbao on Saturday, Zidane conceded there has been a problem during Bale’s recovery and he won’t be risked, per Santi Siguero of Marca:
Bale will play when he's 100 per cent fit. I won't say when that's going to happen. We only want players who are fully fit. I want Gareth 100 per cent, not 80 per cent or 85 per cent. It's normal for a player to possibly relapse when he has a problem and we aren't going to take any risks with him.
Bale felt some discomfort whilst he was recovering. We can't say why things happen and there's no point dwelling on Bale's injury. There's nothing we can do. I'm not taking any risks if he's in any discomfort.
Real are set to play Roma in the first-leg of their Champions League clash next Wednesday at the Stadio Olimpico. It now seems increasingly likely the former Tottenham Hotspur man will miss the contest in the Italian capital, though, which will be a big blow for Zidane given Bale’s fine form this season.
Here is a reminder of some of the Welshman’s best moments from the 2015-16 term, in which he's really kicked on:
Marca claims Zidane was “certain” he would be able to call upon the forward for the match but now “that is not the case.” It’s also suggested the frustration over Bale’s recovery has triggered fresh concerns about Olmo, who the squad “have not had the most confidence in for some time now.”
According to a report in Marca from October last year, the players had decided to marginalise Olmo, banning him from entering the changing rooms due to a total breakdown in trust.
“Now it seems that his position of strength is diminishing and the change that the players wanted some time ago may finally happen,” said the latest report.
As we can see here courtesy of ESPN FC’s Paul Carr, before picking up his latest injury issue, Bale was showing further signs of improvement at the Santiago Bernabeu:
Gareth Bale out 2-3 weeks with a calf injury. Fortunate or not, his goals rate is much better this season. pic.twitter.com/PXAOXs2HAU— Paul Carr (@PCarrESPN) January 19, 2016
Will Real Madrid progress into the Champions League quarter-finals without Bale?
Any side would miss a player of Bale’s calibre, so it’d be understandable if Zidane was annoyed by his absence. It’s not clear when, how or why the 26-year-old suffered this latest setback, but the sooner he’s back at full fitness and back in the starting XI, the more chances Real will have of finishing this season with silverware.
Few managers will feel a great deal of sympathy for Zidane, though. After all, in Isco, James Rodriguez, Jese Rodriguez and Mateo Kovacic, he has a plethora of quality options to call upon in attacking midfield for their visit to Rome. They should have more than enough to get through the tie, paving the way for Bale to play a much more significant part in the latter stages of the tournament.