London (PA Media/dpa) – Gareth Bale will not start Wales’ World Cup qualifier against Belgium on Tuesday – and could miss out altogether.
Bale won his 100th cap in the 5-1 victory over Belarus on Saturday after two months out with a hamstring injury but came off after 45 minutes.
The Wales captain trained on his own away from the main group on Monday.
Wales will make a late decision on whether the Real Madrid forward and their record goalscorer makes the bench against the world’s top-ranked team.
Manager Robert Page: “He was never going to start against Belgium.
“We knew that coming into camp. The plan was always for him to get a half in the first game and then come on and maybe have an impact in the second game.”
On Bale’s recovery following the Belarus game, Page said: “He is going to be stiff. He has not played for a couple of months and to throw him in was a big ask from a physical point of view.
“He’ll recover on his own (on Monday) and we’ll leave it to the last minute to see if he can play minutes. He is getting there, slowly but surely. We will get him back to full fitness.
“It’s frustrating for him. He made a tremendous effort to get fit for the game and he takes credit for that.”
Wales are guaranteed a World Cup play-off spot in March through their Nations League results.
But Page’s side need at least a point against Belgium to finish second in the group and potentially secure a semi-final tie at home.