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posted: 10/3/2017 7:00 AM

Gareth Bale ruled out of Wales' final World Cup qualifiers

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  • FILE - In this Wednesday, July 6, 2016 file photo, Wales's Gareth Bale acknowledges the fans at the end of their Euro 2016 semifinal soccer match against Portugal, at the Grand Stade in Decines-­Charpieu, France. They were the revelation of the 2016 European Championship, a Wales team of mostly journeymen - not counting its galactico, Gareth Bale - somehow reaching the semifinals of the country’s first major soccer tournament in nearly 60 years. Their players virtually became overnight sensations. They were ahead of arch-rival England in the FIFA rankings, in 11th place when five years previously they were 117th. The comedown was sobering, if not entirely unexpected given the expectations foisted upon them.

    FILE - In this Wednesday, July 6, 2016 file photo, Wales's Gareth Bale acknowledges the fans at the end of their Euro 2016 semifinal soccer match against Portugal, at the Grand Stade in Decines-­Charpieu, France. They were the revelation of the 2016 European Championship, a Wales team of mostly journeymen - not counting its galactico, Gareth Bale - somehow reaching the semifinals of the country’s first major soccer tournament in nearly 60 years. Their players virtually became overnight sensations. They were ahead of arch-rival England in the FIFA rankings, in 11th place when five years previously they were 117th. The comedown was sobering, if not entirely unexpected given the expectations foisted upon them.
    Associated Press

 
 

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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More AP World Cup coverage: www.apnews.com/tag/WorldCup

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