Gareth Bale Says He Hasn't Fully Recovered from Ankle Injury

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistMay 31, 2017

Real Madrid's Welsh forward Gareth Bale grimaces after missing a goal opportunity during the Spanish league Clasico football match Real Madrid CF vs FC Barcelona at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid on April 23, 2017.
Barcelona won 3-2. / AFP PHOTO / GERARD JULIEN        (Photo credit should read GERARD JULIEN/AFP/Getty Images)

Real Madrid winger Gareth Bale admitted on Tuesday he is not completely fit ahead of Saturday's UEFA Champions League final against Juventus.

Per The Independent's Miguel Delaney, the Wales international spoke of the struggles he's had with his ankle this year:

"I am not 100 per cent. I haven't played for six or seven weeks. I obviously had my operation which still really hasn't recovered.

"If I'm called upon to start, I will start obviously. But to last 90 minutes. I haven't played a lot of football this year since my operation, so that would be difficult.

"Isco has been playing fantastically well for us, at the end of the season, so whatever the manager decides, I will [accept it]."

Bale has struggled with injuries over the last two seasons, and his current ankle ailment must be frustrating for both the player and the club. 

However, the 27-year-old has not been at his usual standard while on the pitch this season, so it could be a blessing in disguise for the team if he's not in the starting lineup at the Principality Stadium on Saturday.

Real have largely been better with the likes of Isco or even Marco Asensio in the side, so Bale's potential absence would free up a spot for one of them to play, most likely the former.

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The Welshman is a world-class operator capable of making a decisive contribution for the side, but while he's out of form, Los Blancos might be better with him starting on the sidelines.

If manager Zinedine Zidane does opt for Isco, Bale could still be a strong option off the bench.