Real Madrid received another costly blow on Wednesday, as the club said tests revealed star winger Gareth Bale suffered “traumatic dislocation” of tendons in his right ankle. No timetable for his injury has been laid out, but it dislocated tendons don't sound like a run-of-the-mill knock.
Similar injuries usually take at least three weeks of recovery time, per the Associated Press. As of now, Real Madrid simply state that his recovery will continue to be assessed. Real Madrid hold a healthy lead in the La Liga table (by La Liga standards, that is) with a four-point cushion over rivals Barcelona, but the next edition of El Clasico looms in less than two weeks.
If Bale isn't fit for the Dec. 3 match, he'd join a growing list of Los Blancos that are out or questionable for the contest. Toni Kroos has already been ruled out for the remainder of 2016. Casemiro faces a fight to return, while Pepe and Alvaro Morata's statuses remain uncertain.
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Granted, Real Madrid are a massive club with almost unparalleled depth, so if any club are equipped to deal with such a big loss it's them. Lucas Vasquez, who played admirably in Real's derby against Atletico, could deputize if Bale misses out. It will be a big hole to fill, however.
Barcelona could forcefully throw themselves right back into the title mix if they're able to topple a potentially shorthanded Real Madrid. Drama is never in short supply when it comes to El Clasico, is it?