Gareth Bale to miss Tottenham Hotspur’s clash with AC Milan
Winger does not travel to Italy with squad but should be fit for return leg at White Hart Lane in March
Winger Gareth Bale will miss Tuesday’s Champions League clash at AC Milan after failing to recover from a back injury.
The 21-year-old Wales international, who has been unavailable for selection since picking up a back injury in early January, did not travel with the squad to Italy on Monday despite hopes he might be fit.
Harry Redknapp had admitted Bale would be unlikely to feature in Milan after Spurs’ 2-1 win at the Stadium of Light on Saturday.
“I’d like to be able to scare Milan and say he’s going to be available, but he’s not,” said Redkanpp. “He’s struggling to get over this back injury.
“The specialists don’t see too much of a problem there. There’s nothing that should keep him out too long. They looked at Crouch’s back and he has an epidural and Gareth had similar problems. Crouch’s looked an awful lot worse.
“Gareth’s has taken a little bit longer to heal. We’ve got to make sure he’s right. He’s a young lad and he’s very important. He’s got a great future in front of him.
“He doesn’t feel he’s ready to play. We leave it to him. At Sunderland he worked with the fitness coaches on Sunday morning and when they started to push him a bit he couldn’t go on.
“We’ve got to take our time and make sure he’s right when he comes back.”
Bale has been one of the outstanding performers in the Premier League and Champions League this season with two particularly eye-catching displays coming against AC Milan’s derby rivals Inter in the group stages of Europe’s premier football competition.
Rafael van der Vaart is set to feature in Milan after recovering from a calf problem but Peter Crouch is a doubt with a back strain as is Luka Modric, who has had appendicitis.