Gareth Bale's fragility bemoaned after latest 'breakdown'

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The Portugal global has demanded that Zidane doesn't bring Bale into his starting XI for Real's next game against Atletico Madrid.

Real are eight points behind La Liga rivals Barcelona but Zidane is hopeful the possibility of having Bale, Benzema and Ronaldo available after the worldwide break can aid their bid to retain the Spanish title. Bale's latest injury is a strain to his adductor muscle, as confirmed in the medical report shared by Real Madrid. With Real Madrid struggling this season - they trail Barcelona by eight points already - his return was seen as crucial to helping them turn things around.

The former Tottenham star has made just seven appearances in all competitions under Zidane, netting three goals and chipping in with three assists.

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Bale has not played for Spanish and European champions Madrid since their 3-1 Champions League victory against Borussia Dortmund on September 26.

On that occasion, the 28-year-old suffered a calf injury that ruled him out of Wales' decisive World Cup qualification defeat to the Republic of Ireland last month.

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho conceded before the start of the season the Red Devils would "wait for him" should Bale ever be discarded by Real.

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