Zinedine Zidane expects Gareth Bale to be ready to return to action when Real Madrid visit Atletico Madrid following the international break.

Bale is yet to play a game since being forced off during the 3-1 Champions League victory over Borussia Dortmund on 26 September.

The former Tottenham Hotspur star was initially expected to be out for only handful of days with Zidane saying that he was only replaced as a precaution.

But Bale has missed Real's last eight games and Wales' World Cup qualifiers against Georgia and the Republic of Ireland after subsequent scans revealed he had suffered an injury in his calf.

The 28-year-old forward returned to training on Friday but Zidane decided to leave him out of his squad for the 3-0 victory over Las Palmas on Sunday (5 November).

Zidane says Bale will be unavailable for his national team against France (10 November) and Panama (13 November) despite having been previously named by Chris Coleman in Wales squad.

But the coach hopes Bale can advantage of the break to build up his fitness ahead of being 100% fit when Real return to action against Atletico Madrid on 18 November.

"We want Bale to play. He's doing fine. He's just a little way off and that's why he didn't play tonight. We've now got 15 days ahead of us and we'll see how we manage them. My plan is for him to be ready to feature against Atlético," Zidane said in the press conference following Los Blancos's 3-0 victory over Las Palmas.

"Every game is different. We won an important match and we've now got time to prepare for our next game [against Atletico]. I don't know what shape we'll be in when that game comes around and how we'll perform. We're going to be able to work with all of the players who stay behind and that's important. After playing every three days, we need to recover and the players who stay here will get chance to really recover well".

Raphael Varane also missed the victory over Las Palmas due to a muscle injury which prevented him for playing in the Champions League defeat to Tottenham.

However, Zidane suggested that the Frenchman is already fuly recovered after allowing the centre-back to join up with his national for the upcoming international friendlies against Wales and Germany (14 November).

"He'll join up with the French team and we'll see how he gets on there," Zidane said when asked about the centre-back.

Dani Carvajal, Keylor Navas, Luca Zidane and Mateo Kovacic were also unavailable for the clash with Las Palmas due to different fitness issues but Zidane didn't specify whether any of them will be back to face Atletico.

Gareth Bale
Gareth Bale is yet to play since the 3-1 Champions League victory over Borussia Dortmund on 26 September. Getty Images