Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale will miss his side’s second leg Copa del Rey quarter-final match with Espanyol due to injury, manager Carlo Ancelotti has revealed.
The Welshman took a kick in the groin in Saturday’s win over Granada at the Santiago Bernabeu and had to be replaced at half-time. He has started Real’s last three matches, but has come in from some criticism recently from the local fans who believe he is putting in below-par performances.
Initially after the game on Saturday, Ancelotti said he expected the 24-year-old to be back in Madrid´s next match as the injury was not serious. But speaking at his press conference today, the Italian boss confirmed young forward Jese would start in Bale’s place.
“He tried to train but had discomfort in his left leg. We prefer that he recovers and he will not play tomorrow. He will train to be ready for Sunday. Jese will play in his place,” Ancelotti said.
Los Blancos hold a 1-0 lead going into the game, and are enjoying a purple patch of form right now. They are unbeaten in 21 games in all competitions since their 2-1 reverse to Barcelona back in October.
Bale, who signed from Tottenham Hotspur for 91-million euros, has scored 10 goals for Madrid this season in all competitions.