Tottenham skipper Michael Dawson insists team-mate Gareth Bale did not fake an ankle injury sustained during a recent pre-season friendly against Liverpool.
Bale netted in Spurs' 2-1 victory over New York Red Bulls on Tuesday evening, raising suspicions he made too much of a Charlie Adam challenge 72-hours earlier. The Wales international left the clash against Liverpool on crutches and branded Adam "a coward" after the incident.
Dawson, though, defended Bale, claiming his injury was genuine and that he healed quickly in order to make a goal-scoring appearance in Spurs' final pre-season tour match of the United States.
"If you saw his ankle, you would see it was bruised," Dawson said. "No way was he faking. You saw him leave at the weekend with a [protective boot on the ankle].
"He was out with a back injury so he needed to get games. The gaffer wanted to give everyone minutes and Gareth is no different.
"The physios have been working hard on him day and night. Some people heal quicker than others. You always worry with ankles. I've had ankle injuries and you know they can be sore and you never know how bad they are until the swelling comes up.
"Once there is fluid in the ankle, it takes time to come down. Fortunately, Gareth didn't do his ligaments."
Bale also came in for criticism following his appearance against LA Galaxy at the start of the tour, after his back complaint ruled him out of competing for Great Britain at the London 2012 Olympics.