Bale says concerns over health exaggerated

Gareth Bale says speculation concerning his health following his
record 100 million euros transfer to Real Madrid has been ”blown
out of proportion massively.”

Bale went on late to help Madrid beat Malaga 2-0 on Saturday,
making his fourth appearance in eight possible matches after
recovering from his second leg injury since his blockbuster move
this summer.

”It’s nice to get over the little injury I had,” Bale said.
”It’s been difficult getting back obviously after not having a
preseason. It’s great to get back on the pitch, get a few minutes
under my belt, and make a good impact.”

The Wales winger went on with 15 minutes to play and earned a
questionable penalty after a brush with Malaga defender Weligton.
Cristiano Ronaldo converted the spot kick in injury time to double
the lead established by Angel Di Maria.

Bale’s most recent absence due to a sore left hamstring led to
sports daily Marca publishing that he had a back hernia that could
require surgery. Madrid responded that this was false, instead
saying that Bale had a ”disc bulge” that wouldn’t affect his
ability to play.

Bale didn’t mention his suddenly infamous back after Saturday’s

”It was just a little thigh strain,” Bale said. ”I think the
fact that I haven’t had a lot of game time and preseason games or
training or running, you always pick up little niggles. I think
everything was blown out of proportion massively.”

Madrid’s drawn-out negotiations with Tottenham that lasted to
the end of the transfer window meant that Bale was kept from
training this summer with his new club.

”I have to take it one step at a time,” Bale said. ”I haven’t
had too much training or games. It’s all about building me up now.
Obviously, I will do what the manager says, but I need to introduce
myself and prepare myself right now for the rest of the

Madrid hosts Juventus on Wednesday in a highly anticipated
Champions League match with the Italian champion. Madrid then
travels to play at fierce rival Barcelona next weekend in what will
be Bale’s first clasico.