Gareth Bale may be fit for Real Madrid return against Malaga

Gareth Bale could be fit to play in Real Madrid's home Primera División match against Málaga on Saturday, according to the club president Florentino Pérez.

Bale has made just one start since he arrived at the Bernabéu for a world record fee in the summer as injury has kept the forward sidelined.

Madrid were at the weekend forced to deny a report in Spain that Bale was suffering with a slipped disc in his back, rubbishing the claim as "completely false".

While Pérez concedes Bale's injuries have been a worry, he believes the Welshman is ready to make a return – for the first time since the Madrid derby defeat on 28 September – against Málaga.

"(He is) calm and ready, waiting to play on Saturday," he told the Spanish radio programme Punto Pelota.

"Everyone knows that, because he didn't have a good pre-season, he suffered from muscle fatigue in the thigh. He is training well and wants to play and show that all this is just something over nothing.

"All of the doctors have made it clear that a small disc bulge is relatively common in elite footballers. Not all athletes have scans, so not all of those that have these disc bulges know they have them. Elite athletes suffer more with the back and can handle it, but this is something normal. A big deal has been made out of something normal."

Pérez said the speculation around Bale's injury had caused unease for the player. "All this affects Bale's image and dignity," he said. "The player himself and those around him are concerned because they have contracts and campaigns that this could affect."

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