Wales' Bale boost for Dublin date
Gareth Bale has given Wales a major boost ahead of next month's World Cup qualifier in Dublin after he returned to full training with Real Madrid following injury.
Bale, 27, has been on the sidelines since he suffered an ankle injury and then underwent surgery in November.
Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane revealed last week that Bale had rejoined the squad for training and yesterday the club tweeted a photo of the Wales star in training.
club and country a boost by returning to training.
Bale has not played since November because of ankle surgery, but Real Madrid tweeted a photograph of the 27-year-old training at their headquarters on Sunday.
"The big news of the day was Bale re-joining the group, as he completed the session along with his teammates," Real said on their website.
Bale later tweeted another photograph of the training session and said: "First day back on the training pitch with the boys! Can't wait to be back in action now."
Wales manager Chris Coleman has kept in touch with Bale and the Real medical team to assess his readiness for that key World Cup date next month.
But Coleman will now hope to see his star player get a number of games under his belt at club level before Wales come to Dublin.
Coleman spoke yesterday about the importance of Bale to the Wales team and his anticipation for the tie at the Aviva Stadium on March 24th.
The Wales manager will travel to Madrid next week to assess his star man.
"I'm going out there next week to see him. We knew what type of injury it was, but it was planned that I would go to see him," said Coleman.
"Gareth's a great player and I think he gives us all a lift. Without him there's only a certain level we can get to. With him there's not a team we can't beat."
Coleman also believes there's a long way to go in the race to qualify for Russia 2018.
"There's six games to play so there's a long way to go. In many ways teams set up differently against us now because of our success (reaching the semi-finals of Euro 2016)," he said.
"The real killer was drawing at home to Georgia. But we've got to go to Dublin. Ireland have to come to Cardiff.
"We're okay, we're doing alright. The next game will be fantastic in the Aviva Stadium. Martin O'Neill is doing a superb job with Ireland."