‘Gareth Bale still troubled by injury’ according to report
With less than three weeks until Wales kick off their World Cup campaign against the US, there still remains doubts about Gareth Bale’s fitness.
Bale was an unused substitute in LAFC’s 3-0 MLS Western Conference final victory against Austin.
Despite several opportunities to bring the Welshman on in the second half as Los Angeles FC eased to a win, coach Steve Cherundolo preferred other options.
The 33-year-old has played only five minutes of football for LAFC since making two Nations League appearances for Wales in September and the worry is that he will have zero match fitness before the opening game in the group.
LAFC boss Cherundolo has always remained cagey about the injury concerns of the club’s marquee signing and was guarded again post match. While answering a question about why he didn’t turn to Bale from the bench with the team making several substitutions he said: “Subs are never planned. Today the subs we made were necessary and they were the right choice. It just goes to show what an amazing team we have. If we need we can change the game in other ways – with Gareth, but today wasn’t necessary.”
The win means LAFC’s season will climax with the MLS Cup final on November 5 – with Bale looking to add to the MLS Supporters Shield his side have already won.
However, leading US football journalist Michele Giannone, overnight revealed news of Bale’s ongoing battle for full fitness.
Writing on Twitter, he said that while he’s been in full training, ‘the abductor issue he’s been dealing with doesn’t allow him to strike the ball with full force and complete comfort yet.’
Giannone posted: “Ok #LAFC fans (& everyone else). Some clarity on what’s goin on with Bale. Was told he’s been training in full for a few days now BUT the abductor issue he’s been dealing with doesn’t allow him to strike the ball with full force & complete comfort yet. Tough situation.
“He was available today and will be available for MLS CUP. What does “available” really mean? Difficult to say.
“All of this could end up being just a moot point because he has been a non factor during the playoffs but some clarity and information was needed.”
It’s doubtful will play anymore minutes for LAFC this season, despite their showpiece final next weekend.
Wales fans will be hoping this is all precautionary and by the time the US game comes around their talisman will be keen to prove a point to all those Stateside who have criticised his contribution to Major League Soccer.
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