Bale out until April
Gareth Bale's fine start to the season was unfortunately cut short by an injury, which turned out to be far worse than originally thought. The ankle knock he picked up at the end of November, in the Champions League match against Sporting Lisbon in Portugal, turned out to have dislocated tendons, and required surgery, meaning the Real Madrid star will be out until at least April.
Original Bale diagnosis: brief spell out
The original diagnosis was that Bale would be expected to miss the Clásico (Barcelona 1-1 Real Madrid) and possibly the Club World Cup (which Real Madrid won). But the final outcome was far worse than expected.
Bale desperate to get fit
The Welsh striker isn't waiting for nature to take it's time though and is putting in a huge amount of effort to get back playing as soon as possible. Bale started his recovery in Cardiff, as soon as he was allowed to after the operation and he's now back in Madrid and working with the physios at Valdebebas.
Bale's father in Madrid to help out
And this Monday Bale was joined by none other than his father at the Valdebebas training ground: