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Oct 4, 2013

Gareth Bale ‘rushed back into action’

Wales manager Chris Coleman has suggested Real Madrid's desire to get Gareth Bale into action quickly was to blame for his ongoing injury concerns as Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti said Bale won't travel with Wales for its upcoming World Cup qualifiers, but instead remain in the Spanish capital to recover.

Bale moved to Real for €100 million in the summer, but has had a stuttering start to his career at the Bernabeu.

He scored on his debut at Villarreal in September, but has made only two further substitute appearances and pulled out of the game against Getafe amid worries over his fitness.

Further tests this week have shown a muscle problem that will keep the former Tottenham winger out of action until at least the Malaga game on October 19 at least, with boss Carlo Ancelotti saying he would not return until after the international break and "will stay here to train 15 days and will be ready for our next game."

Bale will miss Madrid's game at Levante on Saturday.

The Wales captain was initially included in Coleman's squad for the forthcoming World Cup qualifiers against Macedonia and Belgium, but the coach said he now accepted that Bale must remain in Madrid for extra fitness work. Wales is in last place of Europe Group A. It plays Macedonia next Friday and Belgium four days later.

He suggested Real had played Bale before he was ready, telling the Independent: "We have spoken to the doctor and we will be without him, but we said all along it is very tough for him to have had no pre-season and be thrown in at the deep end.

“I would never criticise another manager -- Carlo Ancelotti is a brilliant manager -- but La Liga football is a different tempo to the Premier League. The Premier League is the fastest, so maybe Carlo is thinking Gareth can handle it, he's a super athlete. But in our last camp, he was nowhere near fit.”

He said it was likely that Bale, who did not complete a full pre-season preparation as his transfer from Spurs dragged on, would not be 100 percent fit for a while.

“You have to put things in perspective,” he added. “What has happened to him with the move, he must feel under pressure. He is probably trying too hard to do things that come naturally to him. Physically he is not there, he is not ready and he might not be for some time.

“If you don't do a pre-season, no matter how good you are, you always play catch-up for the season. This season might be a tough one for him, as good as he is.”

He added: “On top of that he has had the weight and stress of 'will the move happen, won't it?',“ saying he did not believe Bale was “at his fittest physically or mentally”.

Bale, whom Madrid paid €100 million to Tottenham for this offseason, has already hurt his left leg twice and missed three games for Madrid.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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