Real Madrid's Zidane doubts Gareth Bale injury from playing golf
Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane dismissed any relationship to Gareth Bale's back injury and his Sunday outing to accompany golfer Sergio Garcia at the Open de Espana.
Zidane said he doubted that Bale himself played golf, and speculated that he was just in Valderrama to support the Spaniard, who led a late charge before bogeying the last and finishing at 3-over and two shots behind eventual winner Andrew Johnston of London.
Asked during Madrid's news conference ahead of Wednesday's match against Villarreal, Zidane said he did not know how Bale spent his Sunday, nor did he know the nature of the Wales international's back injury. Bale will not play against Villarreal and is a doubt for next week's Champions League semifinal.
Marca reported that the 26-year-old winger played 36 holes on Sunday prior to the tournament.
"I don't know whether he played golf or not, but I don't think he did," Zidane told reporters. "He has an over-use injury in his lower back. I can't tell you exactly what it is because I am not a doctor."
Zidane added that he hopes to see his oft-injured winger back on Saturday at Rayo Vallecano.
Bale has reached 16 goals for the first time in a La Liga season after Real Madrid's 5-1 win over Getafe on Saturday.
Bale made no secret of his visit to Valderrama, posting pictures on his Twitter feed and sending messages of support to Garcia. He followed the tournament action from the gallery.
"[Bale] has had an issue, felt something over the weekend, I'm not sure exactly what -- it's a strain at the back [of his leg]," Zidane said. "Tomorrow he will not be there. I hope he will be back with us for the next game."