2018 WCQ: Injury Knocks Out Bale
Gareth Bale has been ruled out of Wales' crucial World Cup Qualifiers against Georgia and the Republic of Ireland through injury.
There had been dark clouds over his availability for Wales after missing Real Madrid's 2-0 win over Espanyol during the weekend due to a calf muscle strain.
Bale suffered the injury blow in the game against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League last Tuesday and it has now been confirmed he will not be available for national team assignments for now.
Wales are up against against Georgia on Friday and then they have a crunch clash against Ireland next Monday.
While Wales have been badly hit with Bales' impending absence, this news appears to hand Ireland a big boost as they target a win in Wales that might be enough to secure a play-off place in the World Cup qualifiers, if results in other groups fall in their favour.