Bale should be back for Madrid derby: Ancelotti
MADRID: Gareth Bale will not play for Real Madrid in Wednesday`s La Liga match at lowly Elche but should be available for Saturday`s derby at home to Atletico, coach Carlo Ancelotti said on Tuesday.
The Wales winger, the world`s most expensive player after this month`s 100-million euro move from Tottenham Hotspur, picked up a minor muscle problem in the warmup before Sunday`s victory against Getafe and was withdrawn from the starting lineup as a precaution.
"Today he trained apart from the rest of the squad and I think he will be ready for Saturday no problem," Ancelotti told a news conference previewing the Elche game.
"He won`t be available tomorrow but we have time to train with him to prepare him well for Saturday," added the Italian.
"He was a bit sad after the (Getafe) game but he changed quickly because he started to think about Saturday`s match."
Ancelotti dismissed a reporter`s suggestion Bale had been rushed into action too quickly after his pre-season was disrupted by the drawn-out negotiations over his move to the Spanish capital.
The 24-year-old scored on his debut in the 2-2 draw at Villarreal on September 14 before being substituted after an hour and played the final 30 minutes of last week`s Champions League victory at Galatasaray.
"He didn`t have any problems during those games," Ancelotti said.
"He then picked up a small problem but it`s not a muscle injury because if that were the case he would not have been able to train yesterday and today and he wouldn`t be available for Saturday," he added.
"I don`t know exactly what happened but the best thing is that we didn`t take the risk of playing him (against Getafe) so that he can be available on Saturday."
Ancelotti announced central defender Raphael Varane and fullbacks Marcelo and Fabio Coentrao will also be back in the squad to face Atletico.
France international Varane is returning from knee surgery, while Marcelo and Coentrao injured themselves on duty this month with Brazil and Portugal respectively.
Atletico are the only team other than champions Barcelona to have won all five La Liga matches this term, while Real are two points behind in third.
Barca host Real Sociedad later on Tuesday and Atletico are at home to Osasuna.