Soccer-Bale will return for Real at the weekend

Reuters

* Wales winger misses King's Cup semi-final

* Bale set to return at the weekend in La Liga (Releads with Ancelotti quotes, adds byline)

By Teresa Larraz Mora

MADRID, Feb 5 (Reuters) - Gareth Bale was left out of Wednesday's King's Cup semi-final first leg against Atletico Madrid to keep him fresh for Real Madrid's La Liga match at home to Villarreal on Saturday, coach Carlo Ancelotti said.

The Wales winger was expected to feature in the game at the Bernabeu, which Real won 3-0, after recovering from a calf problem but Ancelotti explained that Cristiano Ronaldo's three-match suspension in the league had forced his hand.

"Bale has not suffered a relapse and he is in very good shape," the Italian told a news conference.

"We won't be able to use Cristiano on Saturday and having Gareth fresh could be a good thing for us. That's why I rested him. He will definitely play on Saturday."

Bale's debut season in Spain has been disrupted by a series of minor injuries following his move from Tottenham Hotspur for a record fee of 100 million euros ($135 million).

The 24-year-old was included in Tuesday's initial squad for the match at the Bernabeu but when Real named their starting lineup and the list of substitutes on Wednesday he did not make the final cut.

($1 = 0.7390 euros) (Additional reporting by Iain Rogers, editing by Josh Reich)

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