Bale steps up recovery ahead of Champions League final

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The injured Blancos forward has taken to the swimming pool as he intensifies his efforts to regain full fitness for the showpiece event of the season

Gareth Bale watched on from the sidelines as Real Madrid booked their place in the 2017 Champions League final, but the Welsh attacker is stepping up his recovery efforts.

Bale has been sidelined for a total of 119 days with four different issues this season, missing 27 games - the most in a single season since he began his senior professional career.

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Despite missing out on his side's semi-final clash with Juventus, the 27-year-old emphasised his desire to return to action in a photo posted on his Instagram page.

 

So proud of the team last night and now continuing my recovery to get back out on the pitch! #HalaMadrid

A post shared by Gareth Bale (@garethbale11) on

Bale was impressed by his team-mates as they booked their place in the final at Cardiff. "So proud of the team last night," wrote the Wales international. "And now continuing my recovery to get back out on the pitch! #HalaMadrid"  

Out of the team for several weeks now, Zinedine Zidane filled the Bale-shaped hole in his forward line with Isco, who had seemingly appeared out of favour with Spanish giants. 

However, Isco is now in form and scored Madrid's lone goal in the semi-final second leg at the Vicente Calderon on Wednesday.

Now Zidane is left with a headache as it looks increasingly likely Bale could return to fitness just in time for the Champions League final in Cardiff. 

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