Wales captain Gareth Bale will miss World Cup qualifying games against Czech Republic and Estonia next month as the forward is still recovering from a “significant” hamstring injury, manager Robert Page said.

Bale, who is into the final year of his contract with Real Madrid and spent last season on loan at former side Tottenham Hotspur, sustained the injury in training with the Spanish side last month but was expected to return in October.

The 32-year-old was not included in Wales’ 28-man squad for the matches on October 8 and October 11, though Page expected his talisman to be fit by November.

“You grade hamstring injuries from one to four, and his is nearer the four so it’s quite a significant hamstring tear,” Page told reporters on Tuesday.

“We’ve been in contact with him and our medical department to see how it’s developing. This camp has come too soon for him unfortunately.”

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Bale has 99 caps for Wales and can reach triple figures in November when it faces Belarus and Belgium.

“Originally, it (injury) might have even progressed into November’s camp, but thankfully he’s recovering better than anticipated. We’re pretty certain he’ll be OK for November,” Page added.

Minamino named in Japan squad for Saudi Arabia & Australia qualifiers

Liverpool’s Takumi Minamino will return to Japan’s squad for upcoming 2022 World Cup qualifiers against Saudi Arabia and Australia but injuries mean Kyogo Furuhashi and Takefusa Kubo have not been called up by head coach Hajime Moriyasu.

Minamino was included in the squad for matches against Oman and China earlier this month but a thigh injury saw him return to England prior to the game against Li Tie’s side after not featuring in the 1-0 loss to the Omanis.

The midfielder has since played for his club side, scoring twice against Norwich in the League Cup and coming off the bench during Tuesday’s 5-1 win over Porto in the Champions League.

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