Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale is expected to feature for his national team side Wales when they play Ireland on March 24 after he recovered from his long-term ankle injury.
The former Tottenham Hotspur player returned to action only last week for Madrid, scoring within 12 minutes of joining the team. Madrid defeated Espanyol 2-0 in the La Liga, but it was the 27-year old that netted the second of the match.
Wales assistant Osian Roberts says that the player is now looking forward to the Ireland game as there were fears he might return in time.
“He’s now confident he’ll be in the team and ready to fight for his place,” the coach said.
“He’s coming along very well, he’s in a good place both physically and mentally. He’s been working extremely hard. He was in a good mood, we watch him train and he looked very good physically and fresh of course,” Roberts added.
Roberts joined head coach Chris Coleman as the pair travelled to Madrid to check on their star player. He added that they expect that Bale would get more action under Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane ahead of the Ireland clash next month.
Bale picked up the injury in November last year but he has recovered six weeks earlier than initial estimates. Roberts attributed the pace of his recovery to hard work from the player, and not just nature.
“We see Gareth when he scores goals for Wales and Real Madrid and amazing things on the field but what most people do not see is the hard work he puts in behind closed doors, in private, that gives him a base so he can make the most of the special talent he has,” Roberts said.
The coach added that Bale is a “well-disciplined” player who readily sacrifices. He also said that the medical staff did their best for the player and assure theoretical long-term guarantees against any setbacks.