Belfast Telegraph

Wales will only get cameo from Bale

By Andrew Gwilym

Gareth Bale played a full part in Wales training following a scan on his groin strain, but a decision over his availability for the World Cup qualifier against Serbia in Cardiff will be left as late as possible.

Bale, the world's most expensive player following the completion of his £84m move from Tottenham to Real Madrid, was an unused substitute when the Dragons slumped to a 2-1 loss against Macedonia in Skopje.

Manager Chris Coleman had insisted Bale was injured when questioned on his decision not to use him on Friday, but it was only on Monday that the Wales boss revealed Bale had picked up a groin problem in training at the Philip II Arena on Thursday, and was undergoing a scan on the problem.

A Football Association of Wales spokesman also revealed Bale will be assessed to see if he suffers any reaction to the session.

Coleman had earlier suggested the scan was to assure Bale he would not be putting himself at risk ahead of a potential Real Madrid debut against Villarreal this weekend.

Coleman had said: "We had a conversation with Gareth before the game, he had a tight groin from the day before and we could not take that chance.

"As we speak he has gone to have another scan on it to clear his mind so he knows everything is alright."

Even though Bale now has some chance of taking part in the World Cup qualifier, Coleman admitted there was no chance of the former Spurs man starting the game.

Coleman had said: "He was never going to be available to start either of these games, but at best he would have come on for maybe half an hour on Friday.

"There is a small chance of that tomorrow night, we will see when we get the scan results back and how he feels."

The Wales boss has also been taken aback by the amount of attention having Bale in their midst has placed on the national side.

"I am not used to this to be honest with you," said Coleman.

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