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Bad news for 'Pool as Bale returns to full training with in-form Madrid

Gareth Bale returned to training with his Real Madrid team-mates yesterday ahead of tomorrow's Champions League visit of Liverpool.

Bale has not played in any of Madrid's five matches since the international break, being an unused substitute against Levante before being diagnosed with a gluteal muscle injury.

That saw the world's most expensive player miss the European clash with Liverpool at Anfield, plus the league games against Barcelona and Granada, and the Copa del Rey trip to Cornella, as in-form Madrid extended their winning streak to 11 matches.

However, Madrid announced that Bale was back training with Carlo Ancelotti's squad yesterday, completing "demanding circuits of dribbling, passing and shooting circuits" along with the six outfield players who did not start Saturday's 4-0 win at Granada.

That victory saw Madrid move to the top of the Primera Division standings and they are also top of their Champions League pool with three wins from three, leaving the holders six points clear of the other three teams in Group B.