Real Madrid Says Bale Can Play, Denying Report of Slipped Disc

Real Madrid denied a Spanish newspaper report that Gareth Bale has a slipped disc, saying the record signing has a slight disc bulge that won’t affect his ability to play normally.

Madrid sports newspaper Marca today reported the problem was diagnosed when Bale underwent his medical examination at the club and said the Welsh midfielder may require surgery. Real refuted the claim in a statement on its website.

“The information published, claiming that the player has a slipped disc on the L5-S1 vertebrae and a bulge on two others, is completely false,” the club said. “The player Gareth Bale has a small chronic disc bulge, which is extremely common among football players and by no means prevents him from carrying out his professional activity normally.”

Bale has played in only three matches because of injuries since moving from Tottenham for a reported world-record fee of about 80 million pounds ($128 million) last month. He scored his only goal in his first match, a 2-2 draw with Villarreal on Sept. 14.

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