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The 24-year-old returned to action in the 2-0 win over Malaga on Saturday and insists he has now recovered from a thigh complaint which affected his pre-season

Gareth Bale has described stories about a chronic back injury as "greatly exaggerated" after returning for Real Madrid against Malaga.

Bale came on as a second-half substitute and won the penalty which Cristiano Ronaldo converted to seal a 2-0 win for the hosts at Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday.

Reports in the Spanish media this month had claimed Bale was suffering from a major back problem - rumours which were promptly dismissed by the club - and the Wales international has now stressed he has no concerns over his long-term fitness.

"It's been greatly exaggerated about my injury," the 24-year-old was quoted as saying by AS.

"I'm over the injury I suffered. I had a small thigh issue and as a result I've not had a lot of playing time. I missed preseason and could not run or train without discomfort.

"The truth is that it was not important. Everything is exaggerated enough. I'm already playing again.

"Winning was very important for us today and I think we played well throughout the match.

"We deserved the win and now I'm looking forward to facing the next two games."

Madrid still sit third in La Liga after their win with 22 points from nine games, but have closed the gap from Barcelona at the top to just three points ahead of next week's Clasico at Camp Nou.

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