Gareth Bale will miss Real Madrid’s Copa del Rey quarter-final second leg with Espanyol on Tuesday after manager Carlo Ancelotti confirmed that the Welshman has suffered a leg injury.
Bale has only played three times since returning from injury, but he was withdrawn by Ancelotti at half-time during Saturday's victory over Granada after complaining that he “was not comfortable after getting kicked”.
Speaking at a pre-match press conference on Monday, Ancelotti stressed that Bale would sit-out the match due to a knock to his leg and not, as had been reported, due to a problem with his private area.
“Bale felt discomfort in his left leg. His problem isn’t with his genitals,” revealed Ancelotti.
“He tried to train but had discomfort in his left leg. We prefer that he recovers and he will not play tomorrow,
“He will train to be ready for Sunday. Jese will play in his place.”
Bale has suffered an injury hit spell since arriving in Madrid, but has shown enough in his time in the pitch that he can dazzle the Santiago Bernabeu just like Cristiano Ronaldo. Despite suffering thigh and calf troubles, which Ancelotti described as ‘niggles’ rather than anything more serious, Bale has notched 10 goals in all competitions plus a number of assists which has helped the Spanish giants net the most goals in La Liga with 60 goals in 21 games.
Real head into their tie with Espanyol, which they take a 1-0 lead into, off the back of 10 straight victories having kept a clean sheet in nine of those wins, and their unbeaten run has stretched to 21 matches since the 2-1 defeat to Barcelona in October.
Bale will miss the match in order to fully recover from his knock, but is expected to play a part in the league match against Athletic Bilbao on the weekend when Ancelotti’s side travel to the new San Mames stadium.