Johannesburg [South Africa], Jan. 31 : Zinedine Zidane, Real Madrid's coach, is in no hurry to rush star striker Gareth Bale back into action as he continues to recover from a long-term ankle injury.
The European champions extended their lead at the top of La Liga on Sunday be defeating Real Sociedad 3-0 with Mateo Kovacic, Cristiano Ronaldo and Alvaro Morata scoring the goals.
Bale, who damaged tendons during Real's 2-1 Champions League victory at Sporting Lisbon in November last year and underwent surgery in London, is not expected to return before March.
However, the Real Madrid coach is hopeful of having Luka Modric and James Rodriguez back for team's next outing at Celta Vigo at the weekend.
"Our idea is to have Luka back next week. We will see (how he is) on Tuesday and the same goes for James," Sport24 quoted Zidane as saying. "Gareth will take a while longer. He is now on the training pitch in boots which is a good sign, but we have to take it slowly," he added The 27-year-old is expected to miss Real's Champions League last 16, first leg clash with Napoli on February 15.
The Welshman could be fit for the return leg on March 7. Real have a four-point lead over Barcelona and Sevilla in La Liga..