Gareth Bale
Gareth Bale suffered an ankle injury during Real Madrid's win over Sporting Lisbon in November Getty

Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale is back in first-team training after nearly three months on the sidelines and could be fit in time to face Napoli in the second leg of the Champions League round of 16.

Bale, 27, has not played since damaging ankle tendons in Real's Champions League win over Sporting Lisbon in November.

Real's official website confirmed that the Wales international completed a full training session with his teammates on 12 February.

However, Bale is unlikely to be risked for the Champions League round-of-16 first-leg clash against Napoli on 15 February, with Real coach Zinedine Zidane suggesting last week that the second leg on 7 March may be a more realistic target for his return.

"I hope that Bale is back with us before the return leg against Napoli. He still has to return to team training, which is the most important thing," he was quoted as saying by Sky Sports.

"He's fine. He's working very well and looks determined."

Bale should be fit in time for Wales' crucial World Cup qualifier against the Republic of Ireland in Dublin on 24 March, with Welsh manager Chris Coleman saying that he will visit the forward in Spain in the coming days to monitor his progress.

"I'd forgot all about Gareth Bale to be honest," Coleman joked in an interview with Sky Sports. "I'm about to go out there to see how he's progressing. I'm told that he's doing okay.

"We kind of knew what sort of injury he had and the timings of it and he's on track. It's nice to see him on the pitch again with a ball at his feet."

Cristiano Ronaldo, Isco and Lucas Vasquez all got on the scoresheet as Real Madrid reclaimed top spot in La Liga with a 3-1 win over Osasuna at El Sadar on 12 February.

Real hold a one-point lead over arch-rivals Barcelona and have two games in hand on their rivals.