Madrid boosted by Bale return


Gareth Bale moved a step closer to a Real Madrid return on Tuesday after returning to training.

The Wales international was not present last weekend as Madrid lost ground to Barcelona in the Liga title race, a calf injury keeping him out of the 1-1 draw at Real Betis.

Barca took command in the title race as they saw off Malaga 2-1, taking top spot off Atletico Madrid, who were held 0-0 by Sevilla.

He could return against Espanyol this weekend after training alone, the forward tweeting: "Steadily strengthening... Getting closer to the pitch!"

In a statement Madrid confirmed Bale's comeback and gave more detail of his initial training drills, they said: "Real Madrid returned to training and went through a session focused on physical work.

"The main story was the presence of Gareth Bale training alone back out on the field.

"The Welshman did some running and specific exercises in the sand, both with and without the ball."