November 1, 2017 / 5:18 PM / 18 days ago

Bale included in Wales squad despite injury lay off

BARCELONA (Reuters) - Wales have risked the wrath of Real Madrid by calling up Gareth Bale for their international friendlies this month with France and Panama, even though the winger has been out injured with a calf problem since the end of September.

Soccer Football - 2018 World Cup Qualifications - Europe - Wales Training - Cardiff City Stadium, Cardiff, Britain - October 8, 2017 Wales' Gareth Bale during training Action Images via Reuters/John Sibley

Manager Chris Coleman’s 24-man squad was announced on the Wales Football Association website (www.faw.cymru) on Wednesday for the matches on Nov. 10 and 14.

Bale, Real’s record signing for 100 million euros (£87.6 million) from Tottenham Hotspur in 2013, did not travel to London for Madrid’s Champions League game against his former club at Wembley Stadium due to his continuing recovery.

The 28-year-old did meet up with the Wales squad for their final World Cup qualifiers in October, but was soon sent away after scans revealed he had damaged his left calf more seriously than first thought in his club’s 3-1 win over Borussia Dortmund.

He has been unable to take part in full training with Real since and the game against Tottenham is the seventh match he has been forced to miss as a result.

Bale has been carrying out individual training instead, and on Wednesday posted a picture on Instagram of himself alone at Real’s Valdebebas training ground, writing: “Good sessions this week. Good luck to the boys tonight, gutted to not be playing at Wembley but working hard to get back out there.”

Bale has sustained a total of 18 injuries since joining Real, missing 73 games. In his four seasons he has won 10 trophies, including three Champions Leagues and a La Liga title.

Coach Zinedine Zidane said last Sunday after the 2-1 defeat to Girona he did not know when Bale would be able to return to action.

Reporting by Richard Martin; Editing by Christian Radnedge

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