Gareth Bale’s health is still up in the air with less than three weeks until Wales plays the US in their first World Cup game.
Bale wasn’t used in LAFC’s 3-0 win over Austin in the MLS Western Conference final.
Even though Los Angeles FC was winning easily in the second half and Steve Cherundolo had several chances to bring on the Welshman, he chose not to.
The 33-year-old has only played five minutes of soccer for LAFC since making two Nations League appearances for Wales in September. There is concern that he won’t have played a single minute of soccer before the group’s first game.
Cherundolo, the head coach of LAFC, has never said much about the star player’s injury concerns, and he was cautious again after the game. When asked why he didn’t send Bale on from the bench when the team was making so many changes, he said, “Subs are never planned.” The subs we made today were important and the right choice. This just shows how great a team we have. We can change the game in other ways, like with Gareth, if we need to, but it wasn’t necessary today.
With this win, LAFC’s season will end on November 5 with the MLS Cup final, where Bale will try to add to his team’s MLS Supporters Shield.
But Michele Giannone, a well-known US football reporter, wrote about Bale’s ongoing fight to get back to full health.
Writing on Twitter, he said that while he’s been in full training, ‘the abductor issue he’s been dealing with doesn’t allow him to strike the ball with full force and complete comfort yet.’
Giannone posted: “Ok #LAFC fans (& everyone else). Some clarity on what’s goin on with Bale. Was told he’s been training in full for a few days now BUT the abductor issue he’s been dealing with doesn’t allow him to strike the ball with full force & complete comfort yet. Tough situation.
“He was available today and will be available for MLS CUP. What does “available” really mean? Difficult to say.
“All of this could end up being just a moot point because he has been a non factor during the playoffs but some clarity and information was needed.”
It’s doubtful will play anymore minutes for LAFC this season, despite their showpiece final next weekend.
Wales fans will be hoping this is all precautionary and by the time the US game comes around their talisman will be keen to prove a point to all those Stateside who have criticised his contribution to Major League Soccer.