Tottenham - Gareth Bale fitness update and expected return

Tottenham Hotspur winger Gareth Bale went off injured for Wales against Scotland. What next?

So the news Tottenham fans dreaded but were half-expected materialised - Their key players went down injured during the international break.

Here is our handy Q & A as to the latest on Gareth Bale's fitness:

What happened?

After being laid low with a virus - and nursing an ankle knock and only able to train for one day with Wales against Scotland, Bale lasted just 45 minutes. He appeared hurt the same ankle after a challenge from Blackburn's Grant Hanley and did not re-appear for the second half, with Wales coming back to win 2-1.

Who said what?

Wales manager Chris Coleman said: "He said he felt fine so that's why we started him. He had another knock after 30-35 minutes on the same ankle, so we had to bring him off. 

"If he is not ready (for Croatia), then we can't risk him. We won't, because we have to be fair to Tottenham. They never stand in his way, and he always comes along. Gareth likes to come, but we have to look after him."

What's the latest?

Bale tweeted after the game that the reason he came off was due to his stomach virus, rather than the ankle knock - which is good news for Spurs. Chris Coleman has re-issued him comments that he will not risk Bale if he is not 100 per cent fit.

When is his predicted return?

Bale should be fine to face Croatia, a match which pits second against third in qualifying Group A. However seven points separate the two teams with Wales very much needing an unlucky miracle to make it to Brazil. Injury database - also list Bale's expected return from illness as Tuesday.

How will it affect the race for the top four?

Tottenham should remain fine. The best possible scenario is Bale is rested against Croatia as a precaution, and is fresh for Tottenham's trip to Swansea four days later. However if Bale plays, Spurs fans will again be forced to watch through their fingers and hope the winger does not aggravate his ankle or suffer any new injuries.

Are you optimistic?

image: © Jan S0L0

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