REAL MADRID

Wales to call Bale up for two friendlies this month

During the next fortnight, Wales coach Chris Coleman is expected to announce his squad for games against Northern Ireland and Ukraine.

Wales to call Bale up for two friendlies this month

For the second day running, Gareth Bale was back with the Real Madrid squad for Tuesday's workout in Valdebebas - it was the player's first full workout with the group since suffering a calf muscle injury in the league meeting with Sporting, 44 days ago. The Welsh winger had been expected to return sooner but suffered a relapse, which sent alarm bells into overdrive at Madrid and the Welsh Federation. Osian Roberts, Chris Coleman's assistant, in the Wales technical team, told the BBC on15 February: "Time will tell over the next two or three weeks how that develops as Gareth steps up his rehab, and we'll take it from there. The most important thing is the injury clears up because it can re-occur". But according to Wales Online, Coleman has already decided to call Bale for this month's friendlies against Northern Ireland in Cardiff on 24 March and Ukraine, in Kiev four days later. Coleman is in permanent contact with Bale and has closely followed every step of the player's recovery.

Real Madrid's coaching team meanwhile, have it in mind to include Bale in the list for Saturday's league game against Celta de Vigo. It's unlikely that Bale will feature in the starting line-up though, after having spent the past 44 days working on his return to fitness. The plan is to gradually build his playing time back up, handing him run-outs against Celta then Roma on Tuesday. The final decision will be made after Friday's training session. If Bale is not confident, he won't be risked. At club level at least, Bale will only return when he is 100 per cent, and Coleman is sure he will be back at his best for Wales' engagements later this month as they begin preparations for EURO 2016.