Gareth Bale has been ruled out for four months after suffering a serious ankle injury in Real Madrid’s Champions League victory over Sporting Lisbon, the Spanish club have confirmed.
Bale will undergo surgery next Tuesday in London after he suffered an ankle tendon injury in the 2-1 victory at Sporting this week, with the initial prognosis of the Wales international missing a few weeks proving to be wide of the mark.
The 27-year-old had already been ruled out of the El Clasico clash with Barcelona on 3 December after suffering what the club said was a "traumatic dislocation of the peroneal tendons" in his right ankle, but it has since been confirmed that he will need surgery to correct the injury that will rule him out for the remainder of 2016 and well into 2017.
The blow ends what has been the best year of Bale's career to-date, with the former Tottenham winger winning a second Champions League crown with Real Madrid in the summer before inspiring Wales to the semi-finals of the European Championships as the underdogs threatened one of the biggest upsets at a major tournament.
A Madrid statement read: "Real Madrid's medical services have decided that Gareth Bale will undergo surgery as a result of the peroneal tendon injury in his right ankle.
"This operation will take place at the King Edward VII Hospital in London on Tuesday, November 29 by Dr James Calder, under the supervision of the club doctors Jesus Olmo and Mikel Aramberri."
Bale, who has struggled with various injuries during his time in Spain, is also set to sit out the FIFA Club World Cup, which takes place in Japan between December 8-18.
Wales' next scheduled match is the World Cup qualifier against the Republic of Ireland on March 24.
Real are four points clear at the top of LaLiga and host Sporting Gijon this weekend.
Additional reporting by PA.Reuse content