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Gareth Bale misses Real Madrid home debut through injury

The former Tottenham star was set to step out at the Santiago Bernabeu for the first time against Getafe, but picked up a thigh strain before the game.

World record transfer fee holder Gareth Bale’s home debut for Real Madrid did not go as he would have planned, as the former Tottenham attacker picked up a thigh strain and was unable to feature against Getafe on Sunday.

The Wales international was set to make his first outing at the Santiago Bernabeu against Los Blancos’ local rivals, and was named in the starting XI in the build up to the clash.

However, Bale picked up a thigh strain in the warm-up and was forced to watch on from the sidelines, not even named in the substitutes. His place was taken by Isco, who scored in a 4-1 victory for the hosts.

Madrid have fixtures coming thick and fast, with Elche to face on Wednesday before the derby against Atletico next weekend.

Carlo Ancelotti said that he hoped Bale would be fit and able to make his home debut against Diego Simeone’s men on Saturday.

"He had a small problem in the warm-up," the Italian manager confirmed.

"We can't say it's a [serious] injury. Speaking to doctors, I don't think it's a big problem but we have to wait to tomorrow to do a scan to see what happened.

“He was not comfortable or relaxed so I preferred to avoid any problems and wait and see.

“He's not happy because he was really looking forward to playing his first game at the Bernabeu but I think he will have lots of chances to play here. [But] I think he'll be ready for the game on Saturday."

Ancelotti went on to state that Bale’s lack of a proper pre-season due to speculation over his impending move from White Hart Lane to the Spanish capital, and niggling injuries, played a role in his omission here.

"I think that the pre-season was very unusual and not just in the physical aspect but also the mental aspect; he has waited a long time [to join Madrid],” Ancelotti continued.

“I think that is the problem. He played 60 minutes against Villarreal and 30 against Galatasaray and we were working to improve his physical condition. We had a small problem today but I think he can be OK."

The expectation on Bale to deliver is monumental, as the sheer size of his transfer fee has the Madristas expecting wonders from him at every turn. As a result it is very important that the former Spurs man gets off to a good start to win over fans that will be questioning their club’s expenditure.

Due to a lack of pre-season games and his conditioning not being at the optimum level, Bale would be foolish to rush back to action. Although the Madrid fans have waited all summer to see their latest galactico, Bale is only human and needs to be at the peak of his physical abilities to start to deliver.

image: © Ian D

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