Real Madrid's Gareth Bale has a muscle contracture in his left thigh and could be out for a while

Gareth Bale has had a frustrating start to his Madrid career. Photo: PA

Gareth Bale has been diagnosed with a muscle contracture in his left thigh but it remains to be seen how long the Wales forward will be sidelined for, Real Madrid have announced.

Bale - who missed most of the pre-season while uncertainty over his future continued - has been hampered by injury since completing his world record transfer from Tottenham in August, appearing in only two matches.

He had already been ruled out of Wednesday's Champions League clash with FC Copenhagen but this latest diagnosis suggests a longer absence.

"After the tests carried out today, the player Gareth Bale has been diagnosed with a muscle contracture in his left thigh," said a statement on the Real Madrid website.

"It remains to be seen how the condition develops."