Real Madrid have confirmed that Gareth Bale is going to miss the next three weeks in a bid to be fit for the season’s first Clasico.

The Welshman has started just one of the five games Real Madrid have played since his arrival and been on the pitch for just 132 minutes in total.

He is still waiting to start his first home game. Wednesday’s Champions League meeting with Copenhagen was to afford him that first home start but a thigh problem keeps him out and Real Madrid are now so concerned they want him to take three weeks to get back his fitness and play against Barcelona on October 27.

Bale was diagnosed with a muscle contracture in his left thigh. The club are desperate to avoid a repeat of the
Jonathan Woodgate quagmire when they signed the defender injured, rushed him back and never saw him fully fit.

Bale’s injury problems are not considered as serious as those that hampered Woodgate’s career but there is a feeling he should never have played 60 minutes away to Villarreal having only spent three days training with his team-mates.

Bale will not play in this weekend’s visit to Levante and Real Madrid will then insist he does not join up with Wales for the next round of international matches.

They also want him to sit out the first game back after the international break to give options of playing some part in the Clasico.

Madrid supporters have liked what they have seen of Bale at Santiago Benabeau so far and accept the lack of a pre-season as he waited to sign for Madrid is at the heart of his problems.

But Marca produced a full page picture of him yesterday with detailed references to the knee, shoulder, back, ankle, thigh and hamstring injuries he has suffered in his career.

Some have joked that he should never have moved into Kaka’s old house such is the bad time suffered by the Brazilian in the Spanish capital.

Others have compared Bale’s woes to the fortunes of Arsenal’s table-topping Mesut Ozil, sold as a result of the former Tottenham man’s arrival.

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