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Bale a doubt for Real's Bilbao trip

Gareth Bale remains a doubt for Real Madrid's trip to Athletic Bilbao on Sunday.

Train: Jese pushes Madrid to Copa semis

The Wales international was not fit enough to train with his teammates on Thursday after being kicked in the groin in last weekend's 2-0 win over Granada at the Bernabeu, when he was substituted at half-time.

Although the club issued no medical statement confirming any injury, he missed Tuesday's Copa del Rey game against Espanyol with what was reported as a left thigh strain.

Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti said after the Espanyol game that he hoped to have the 100 million euro signing back for the game in Bilbao.

A Madrid club statement on Thursday confirmed that Bale had “trained in the indoor facilities” but did not add any details on how the injury was healing.

Should Bale not be fit enough to start on Sunday, youngster Jese Rodriguez -- who further pressed his claims for a regular place by scoring the winner against Espanyol - is likely to get the nod on the right wing.

Bale has completed the 90 minutes in just nine of 30 competitive games since joining Madrid.

His regular absences from action are widely thought to stem from a long-standing back problem, with Madrid's medical staff admitting in October that they had put in place a "programme of preventative recuperation" to help manage the issue.


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