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Bale fails to travel to Milan

Gareth Bale has not travelled with his Tottenham Hotspur team-mates for Tuesday's Champions League second-round tie with Milan.

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A back injury has prevented Bale from making the trip to Italy and he will be sorely missed for the first leg at San Siro - the venue at which he scored a brilliant hat-trick against Inter in the group stages of the competition.

Speaking on Sunday evening, Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp said Bale would, in all likelihood, be unavailable for Tottenham's first fixture in the knockout phase of the Champions League.

"I'd like to be able to scare Milan and say he's going to be available, but he's not," he told Sky Sports News. "He's struggling to get over this back injury.

"The specialists don't see too much of a problem there. There's nothing that should keep him out too long. They looked at Crouch's back and he has an epidural and Gareth had similar problems. Crouch's looked an awful lot worse.

"Gareth's has taken a little bit longer to heal. We've got to make sure he's right. He's a young lad and he's very important. He's got a great future in front of him. He doesn't feel he's ready to play.

''We leave it to him. At Sunderland he worked with the fitness coaches on Sunday morning and when they started to push him a bit he couldn't go on. We've got to take our time and make sure he's right when he comes back."

However, Tottenham are boosted by the news that Croatia midfielder Luka Modric does travel after undergoing appendix surgery two weeks ago. Peter Crouch (back) and Rafael van der Vaart (calf) also make the trip to Milan.


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