Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale has dealt Wales a big blow in their bid to book a place in next year’s FIFA World Cup in Russia after he was ruled out with a calf strain.
Bale will miss the crucial European qualifying games against Georgia and the Republic of Ireland as a result of the injury.
The blow is unquantifiable for Wales at the moment with the team winless without Bale since October 2013 against Macedonia.
His club manager Zinedine Zidane had earlier played down concerns about his fitness by revealing that the former Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur man was rested for Sunday’s 2-0 win over Espanyol as a precaution.
He thereafter joined up with the Wales squad on Monday and the medical staff had been hopeful that he would be fit despite missing training.
With the calf strain, the 28-year-old won’t travel with the team to Georgia and Barnsley striker Tom Bradshaw has been called up to the Wales squad as his replacement.