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REAL MADRID

Gareth Bale trains alone as Real Madrid prepare for Villarreal

Despite it looking unlikely, the Welshman now appears to be a firm part of Zidane's plans, but spent Tuesday's session working apart from the group.

Bale, en un entrenamiento del Real Madrid.
Oscar J. Barroso / AFP7 / Europa

Gareth Bale did not train with the rest of his Real Madrid teammates on Tuesday at the complex in Valdebebas. The news that Los Blancos put up on their website, something they do after each session, did not state the Welshman's absence, however AS can confirm that he was not working with the group.

Bale not a fitness doubt for Villarreal

When asked for more detail on the situation, Los Blancos explained to us that Bale had exercised separately in a more intensive and personalised session that included belts, weights, flexibility work and continuous running.

The club did not report any illness or injury related to the player, so the suggestion is that Bale should have no problem playing on Sunday against Villarreal at La Cerámica. The winger had seemed to be far from the new season's plans for Zidane not so long ago but, somehow, appears to have completely turned things around. From a discarded expensive asset to an important piece in the starting eleven, he has impressed early on after starting in the first two LaLiga games, playing 165 of 180 available minutes.

Bale's absence from the main group had caused concern over yet another injury, something that has blighted much of his Madrid career to date. But, based on what we have been told by the club, there is no problem and he will be ready to line up in Villarreal on Sunday, aiming to secure a much needed three points following last weekend's deflating draw against Valladolid.