Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane is confident the injury Gareth Bale suffered in Sunday’s win at Villarreal will not keep him out of action for long (Real Madrid 4/1 Champions League outright).

The former Tottenham winger only made his return from a lengthy lay-off due to an ankle problem earlier this month, hitting the ground running with two goals in three appearances.

The 27-year-old was on target at the Estadio de la CerĂ¡mica at the weekend as Los Blancos fought back from 2-0 down to record a vital 3-2 victory as they moved back to the top of the La Liga standings.

However, a good night for Real ended on a worrying note after Bale had to be replaced following an awkward fall on his ankle.

The sight of Bale limping off will have worried Real fans given his impact since his return to fitness, while Wales supporters will also be sweating ahead of their crunch 2018 World Cup qualifier against the Republic of Ireland at the end of March.

Zidane is not worried about the Welshman’s fitness though, claiming his withdrawal was a precautionary measure.

“Bale? He only has a slight knock. I don’t think it’s anything more than that,” said Zidane.

The Frenchman went on to heap praise on his players for fighting back from two goals down in the second half to win the match, admitting it was important to get the win.

The victory moved Real to the top of the table, one point ahead of Barcelona, who had heaped the pressure on their rivals with a 2-1 triumph at Atletico Madrid earlier in the day (Real 8/15 Primera outright).

“We knew that Villarreal were already terrific at home. We had to have patience,” added the Frenchman.

“With our changes, we changed the game. It was important to pick up points and remain top.”