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INTERNATIONAL

Bale starts for Wales 34 days after last game

The Real Madrid player was injured for the last month and missed six Real Madrid games but has re-appeared to take a place in Giggs' Wales team.

Bale starts for Wales 34 days after last game
ANDREW COULDRIDGE Action Images via Reuters

Gareth Bale was named in Ryan Giggs' starting XI against Azerbaijan on Saturday after missing over a month of action with Real Madrid due to an undisclosed injury. It is the first time he will see football action since Wales' last game against Croatia in October. 

The Real Madrid attacker played and scored in that game but has since missed six games for his club. Zinedine Zidane said he wasn't injured but wasn't available for their most recent game against Eibar.

Bale made headlines on Friday when he said he gets more excited playing for Wales than he does playing for Madrid. The Welsh captain was linked with a move away from the LaLiga side during the summer and Zinedine Zidane said it's "better if he leaves tomorrow" when asked about the potential transfer. 

The move fell through at the last minute and Bale patched things up with Zidane to start the season. In six LaLiga games this season, he scored two and assisted another two but it seems the early season bliss has worn off.

Bale's start comes after missing a significant amount of training with his club. Ryan Giggs was asked about calling up a recovering Bale to his squad and said he had spoken to his captain and said he was feeling confident that he could play in the upcoming games against Azerbaijan and Hungary.

The injury that Bale has been carrying was shrouded in further mystery given Real Madrid's lack of updates on his health and recovery. Reports emerged after he was withdrawn against Belarus that he asked that the club not to brief the press on his status.