Gareth Bale Injury: Real Madrid Winger Injures Ankle vs. Sporting CP

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured Columnist

Real Madrid's Welsh forward Gareth Bale (DOWN) is checked by medics during the UEFA Champions League football match Sporting CP vs Real Madrid CF at the Jose Alvalade stadium in Lisbon on November 22, 2016. / AFP / FRANCISCO LEONG        (Photo credit should read FRANCISCO LEONG/AFP/Getty Images)
FRANCISCO LEONG/Getty Images

Real Madrid will be without Gareth Bale for a period of time after he suffered an ankle injury against Sporting Lisbon in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday. 

The problem was confirmed by Los Blancos coach Zinedine Zidane, as Real Madrid TV's Phil Kitromilides reported. Bale was taken off after 58 minutes for Marco Asensio.

Real Madrid announced Bale's diagnosis on Wednesday: "After tests carried out on our player [Bale] at the Sanitas La Moraleja University Hospital, he has been diagnosed with a traumatic dislocation of the peroneal tendons of his right ankle. His recovery will continue to be assessed."

AS also reported that Bale will be unable to return for Madrid's match against Barcelona on Dec. 3: "Bale must completely rest for the next three weeks, and depending on his progress, doctors will assess whether he will require surgery. If his condition does not improve after conservative, noninvasive treatment, Bale will need to undergo an operation and could be out for between six to eight weeks."

Fortunately for Real, they boast a wealth of attacking talent to mitigate his loss.

The likes of Alvaro Morata, Asensio, Lucas Vazquez, James Rodriguez and Isco are capable of coming in for the Welshman depending on whether Zidane opts for a more direct replacement or chooses to restructure the team's shape.

Nevertheless, Bale is a key player for Real, and his absence is undoubtedly a blow.

The forward has become one of their most consistent performers, and few players in the world, let alone at the Santiago Bernabeu, can match his ability to make match-winning contributions each week.

Bale is not only a threat going forward thanks to his incredible pace, clinical finishing and aerial prowess, but he also works hard defensively and often brings out the best in his team-mates by involving them in play or picking them out with defence-splitting passes.

Whomever Zidane chooses to fill in for him will need to be at the top of his game if Real are to maintain their momentum without Bale.

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