Gareth Bale: Real Madrid deny player has slipped disc in back

Real Madrid have denied a report published by Marca newspaper  which says world-record signing Gareth Bale has suffered a slipped disc in his back.

Bale has started just once for Los Blancos since arriving from Premier League side Tottenham for £85m.

The Welshman scored on his home debut but has played only twice since.

Bale's season-by-season Premier League stats

  • 2012-13: Played 33, goals 21, assists four
  • 2011-12: Played 36, goals nine, assists 10
  • 2010-11: Played 30, goals seven, assists one
  • 2009-10: Played 23, goals three, assists five
  • 2008-09: Played 16, goals 0, assists 0
  • 2007-08: Played eight, goals two, assists 0

"The information published, claiming that the player has a slipped disc on the vertebrae is completely false," Madrid said in a statement.

Marca claim the MRI scan on 2 September - the day of Bale's official presentation at the Bernabeu - detected a slipped disc in the back on the L5 -S1 vertebrae and a bulge on L4 -L5.

Headlined 'Bale's secret slips out', the article also states that although the injury is not giving him trouble and will not prevent him from playing for the foreseeable future, it may require surgery further down the line.

Real's statement in full read: 

"In response to the information that the newspaper Marca has published today regarding the player Gareth Bale, Real Madrid would like to state the following:

  • The information published, claiming that the player has a slipped disc on the L5-S1 vertebrae and a bulge on two others, is completely false.
  • The player does not have a slipped disc, as the club's medical services stated clearly to the newspaper before the information was published. Surprisingly, the version the doctors offered this media outlet on Thursday 10 October has been omitted.
  • The player Gareth Bale has a small chronic disc bulge, which is extremely common among football players and by no means prevents him from carrying out his professional activity normally."