Friday, January 21 2022

Gareth Bale is on track to win his 100th Wales cap after making progress on his hamstring injury, manager Robert Page said on Monday.

Bale injured his right hamstring during a Real Madrid training session in September.

The 32-year-old has not played since featuring for Wales in a goalless draw against Estonia on September 8.

But Bale, a four-time Champions League winner, has been named in a 28-man squad for Wales’ World Cup qualifiers against Belgium and Belarus later this month.

Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti has also suggested Bale could return to his squad for Saturday’s La Liga match against Rayo Vallecano.

Charlton defender Chris Gunter is the only other man to reach the 100-cap milestone for Wales.

“Gareth is in a good place. He’s exactly where we and the medical team thought he should be,” Page said.

“He’s raring to go. He’s back on the grass and doing absolutely everything possible to get himself 100 per cent fit.

“He’s not in full-time training yet, but we’ve got another week and where we want him to be.”

Wales sit third behind Belgium and the Czech Republic in Group E of European qualifying with three wins and two draws from six matches.

Group winners qualify automatically for the World Cup and second-placed teams will compete in play-offs for their ticket to Qatar.

Page’s team drew 2-2 in the Czech Republic before defeating Estonia 1-0 in Bale’s absence last month.

The former Tottenham star, who is Wales’ all-time top-scorer, bagged a hat-trick to inspire his country’s 3-2 win against Belarus in September.

imm/smg/iwd

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