Gareth Bale set for Real Madrid return
Gareth Bale could be fit to play in Real Madrid's home Primera Division match against Malaga on Saturday, according to club president Florentino Perez.
Bale has made just one start since he arrived at the Bernabeu for a world-record fee in the summer as injury has kept the winger sidelined.
Madrid were at the weekend moved to deny a report in Spain that Bale was suffering with a slipped disc in his back, rubbishing the claim as "completely false".
While Perez concedes Bale's injuries have been a worry, he believes the Welshman is ready to make a return - for the first time since the Madrid derby defeat on September 28 - against Malaga.
"(He is) calm and ready, waiting to play on Saturday," he told Spanish radio programme Punto Pelota.
"Everyone knows that, because he didn't have a good pre-season, he suffered from muscle fatigue in the thigh.
"He is training well and wants to play and show that all this is just something over nothing.
"Bale is fit to play and wants to show that he is fine. All of the doctors have made it clear that a small disc bulge is relatively common in elite footballers. Not all athletes have scans, so not all of those that have these disc bulges know they have them. Elite athletes suffer more with the back and can handle it, but this is something normal. A big deal has been made out of something normal".
Perez said the speculation around Bale's injury had caused unease for the player.
"All this affects Bale's image and dignity," he said.
"The player himself and those around him are concerned because they have contracts and campaigns that this could affect."
Perez also revealed an interest in bringing striker Radamel Falcao back to Madrid, following his big-money summer move from Atletico to Monaco.
Any move will have to wait until next summer though.
"(He) won't come during the January transfer window but in June, who knows? Falcao wants to play for Madrid - I've been told," he said.