Gareth Bale has reassured fans that he will be returning to the pitch as soon as possible after revealing he has undergone successful surgery on his ankle.
The Real Madrid player suffered a “traumatic dislocation of the peroneal tendons” in his ankle during his side’s 2-1 Champions League victory at Sporting Lisbon last week and has been subsequently ruled out for four months.
Even though the surgery was a success, the 27-year-old now faces a substantial spell on the sideline which is likely to stretch until March.
A Madrid statement read: “Our player Gareth Bale has undergone today successful surgery to repair damaged tendons in his right ankle.
"The operation took place at King Edward VII Hospital in London by doctor James Calder and Real Madrid Sanitas doctor Mikel Aramberri, under the supervision of doctor Jesus Olmo, head of Real Madrid's medical services."
Bale, who has scored seven goals and set up three more in 16 starts for Real, gave his own update to fans on social media.
Posting on Instagram, he said: “Thanks for all the messages! Ankle is feeling ok. I’ll be doing everything I can to get back on the pitch asap #HalaMadrid.”
Wales manager Chris Coleman remains optimistic that the forward will be fit to feature in the national side’s World Cup qualifier against the Republic of Ireland in March.
"I'm hoping it's going to be more like three months,” Coleman said.
"He's an absolute machine and physically he's an absolute specimen. We'll know a little bit more probably next week or the week after."
Alongside his impressive Madrid form, Bale has been vital to Wales’ World Cup qualifying campaign. The former Tottenham player has scored four times in four qualifiers and is now second to Ian Rush on his country’s all-time goalscoring list with 26 goals.