Bale out of England clash
The Football Association of Wales confirmed this morning the player would take no part in the Millennium Stadium encounter after suffering tightness in the muscle during training. The 21-year-old is now thought to be returning to his club Tottenham for assessment.
The FAW said in a statement that Bale, who played his first 90 minutes since suffering a back injury in January against West Ham last weekend, was injured prior to joining up with the squad.
The statement read: "Due to a hamstring problem, Gareth Bale has had to withdraw from the Wales squad to face England on Saturday. He felt tight last week during training with his club. After playing 90 minutes on Saturday he felt some muscle tightness. Initially, this was expected to be muscle soreness after playing his first game.
"On joining up with the Welsh squad he was kept off his feet in training for two days to recover. As he still felt tight in the warm-up on Tuesday, Gareth was pulled out of the session. He did not train at all on Wednesday and was sent for a scan. The scan revealed that Gareth Bale picked up his injury last week."
The news is a major blow for Wales manager Gary Speed ahead of his first competitive international in charge and a concern for Tottenham with the first leg of their UEFA Champions League quarter-final against Real Madrid coming up in 12 days' time.
Bale has only recently returned to action after a six-week lay-off with a back injury, making two substitute appearances and one start for Spurs. Prior to that Bale had enjoyed an outstanding season and his fitness is crucial to Spurs' hopes of progressing further in Europe.
It was reported this morning that Bale had suffered his latest setback in training yesterday but Wales assistant manager Raymond Verheijen has revealed he did not even train at all. The Dutchman wrote on his Twitter account: "Funny to read about Gareth Bale injuring his hamstring in training yesterday.....as he did not train at all yesterday."
Speed is expected to comment on the situation later this morning.