Wales manager Chris Coleman has sought to defuse any potential club versus country row over Gareth Bale by insisting that the Real Madrid forward did not suffer a fresh injury setback while training with the national team.
Bale has been ruled out of both of his country's final 2018 World Cup qualifiers against Georgia and the Republic of Ireland due to a calf problem first sustained in a Champions League victory over Borussia Dortmund, which forced him to miss the La Liga clash with Espanyol.
Zinedine Zidane subsequently confirmed that the 28-year-old's absence from the latter contest was merely precautionary and that he would be "fine" to travel with Wales for a critical double-header.
However, his absence was later announced after the results of a further scan undertaken in Cardiff.
Real have since communicated that Bale was dealing with swelling but no tear in the soleus muscle of his left leg and would be monitored, with some reports in Spain claiming he had sustained the issue in his first training session with Wales.
However, Coleman has now joined Football Association of Wales (FAW) sources in stressing that was simply not the case.
"Gareth turned up Sunday night with everybody else," he told reporters at a press conference held before Friday's (6 October) potentially pivotal encounter with Georgia in Tbilisi, per The Independent. "He felt a bit of discomfort in his calf and we immediately scanned him at 8.30 on on Monday morning. He's not trained with us or been in any session with us, not on the grass or the cool down. No session with us at all.
"He said he had discomfort and, like we would with any other player, we don't take the chance. We immediately scanned him. Unfortunately there's a bit of damage in his calf which could keep him out a week, two weeks, three weeks, we don't know. He's a Real Madrid player, so they'll be the ones to look after him.
"It's just unfortunate and bad timing. We all know he had a problem in his hamstring with Madrid and he was trying to get through that. Sometimes you can have a little bit of discomfort elsewhere. We have to wait and see how long - that news will come from Real Madrid."
Bale could be sidelined for up to a month, meaning he would face a race against time to be fit for the World Cup play-offs in mid-November should Wales advance that far. He might also miss both Champions League meetings with former employers Tottenham Hotspur in addition to league matches against Getafe, Eibar and Girona and the first of two Copa del Rey fourth-round ties against Fuenlabrada.
Real have a few injury issues persisting at present, with Marca reporting that right-back Dani Carvajal is facing a minimum of two months out with pericarditis. Karim Benzema (knee), Theo Hernandez (shoulder) and Marcelo (hamstring) are all expected to be fit for the Madrid derby against Getafe on 14 October after returning to training this week, although Croatian midfielder Mateo Kovacic is still recovering from a partial adductor tear.