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Real Madrid Will Not Risk Bale Against Napoili

Zinedine Zidane will not risk Gareth Bale against Napoli as the Welsh star continues to make his comeback after a three-month lay-off.

Bale has been sidelined since suffering an ankle injury in the Champions League group game against Sporting back in November but returned to first team training over the weekend.

This season Real are bidding for a 12th European title and take on Napoli in the first leg of their last 16 tie on Wednesday. Boss Zinedine Zidane oversaw training on Tuesday in Madrid, with Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo – who missed Monday’s session – both taking part.

Although Bale has is working his way back up to speed the French coach is not expecting the Welsh star to make the first leg.

‘It’s only the first week he’s been training with us and he doesn’t have any ankle pain, that’s the most important thing,’ Zidane said.

‘We’ll see if he can be in the squad or if he’ll be there at the weekend [against Espanyol in La Liga].

‘At the same time, after two or three months out, we have to be very careful with Gareth.’

Luka Modric said the Welshman had looked good in training and his team-mates are eager for him to return to the side.

‘It’s always difficult when you don’t play because of injury,’ said Modric.

‘I think he has recovered well. He looks fired up to come back as soon as possible.

‘We miss him and we want him to be back. He’s strong and this doesn’t affect him mentally. He’s recovered in the best possible way.’