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Real Madrid confirm Gareth Bale injury; likely out for 3 weeks

Real Madrid have confirmed that Gareth Bale has picked up another calf muscle injury, with reports in Spain saying the Wales international is likely to miss three weeks of action.

Bale opened the scoring with his 11th goal in his last eight games with a header just seven minutes into Sunday's 5-1 La Liga win over Sporting Gijon at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu.

The former Tottenham player pulled up just before half-time in the game however, with what it has now been confirmed is his fifth calf muscle injury in his two-and-a-half years at Madrid.

"After tests carried out today on the player Gareth Bale, he has been diagnosed with soleus muscle injury in his right leg," a Madrid club statement said. "His recovery will continue to be assessed."

Bale now looks set to miss Madrid's upcoming La Liga fixtures at Real Betis next Sunday, then against Espanyol on Jan. 31 and Granada on Feb. 7. The €100 million man should however be back in time for the Champions League 16 first leg at Roma Feb. 17.

Blancos coach Zinedine Zidane is most likely to choose young winger Jese in place of Bale should he stick with the 4-3-3 shape used during his first two games in charge. Another option could be to shuffle his formation and look to include currently out-of-form Colombia international James Rodriguez in a deeper role.

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