Wales won't risk Bale

by Setanta Staff , 24 March 2013

Wales manager Chris Coleman has reassured Tottenham that Gareth Bale will not be risked for the World Cup qualifier against Croatia on Tuesday if there are any worries about his fitness.

Bale started the 2-1 World Cup qualifier victory against Scotland on Friday but was forced off with an ankle injury at half-time, though he afterwards insisted that he was confident of returning for the game against Croatia.

Coleman, however, says that Tottenham have been very supportive of the 23 year-old’s enthusiasm for Wales, and that he wants to play fair with the Premier League club.

“We only had Gareth for 45 minutes – and albeit a jaded Gareth Bale,” he said. “He’s been ill and had a knock on his ankle, but he wanted to play.

“He said he felt fine so that’s why we started him. He had another knock after 30-35 minutes on the same ankle, so we had to bring him off.

“I don’t know if he will be okay. I’m not sitting on the fence, but the next 24 hours will be crucial. All we can do is wrap him up in cotton wool. If he is not ready, then we can’t risk him.

“We won’t because we have to be fair to Tottenham. They never stand in his way and he always comes along. Gareth likes to come, but we have to look after him.”

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