Gareth Bale ruled out of Wales’ final World Cup qualifiers

Wales' Gareth Bale. (Nick Potts/PA via AP)

CARDIFF, Wales — Wales says Gareth Bale has been ruled out of its final two World Cup qualifiers.

Bale’s fitness has been a source of concern for Wales since sustaining a calf muscle strain against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League last week.

The 28-year-old forward missed Real Madrid’s league game with Espanyol on Sunday but reported to the Wales camp the following morning.

The Football Association of Wales confirmed on Tuesday that Bale would miss Friday’s game in Georgia and Monday’s meeting with Ireland.

Wales, which reached the 2016 European Championship semifinals, is second in Group D, four points behind Serbia and one ahead of Ireland. Only the group winners are guaranteed a place at the World Cup in Russia next year.

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