In a move that could have graced the pages of Roy of the Rovers, Jermain Defoe cut open the Fulham rearguard with the precision of a Surgeon. Responding to the galloping Bale’s cues, Defoe crafted a pass of intricacy and subtlety that rendered Fulham’s defence wooden and flat-footed finding the Welsh wizard perfectly as he raced clear to unleash a first time rocket towards the net. Sadly for Bale, his effort was off target and Tottenham’s main creative force limped off nursing a hamstring tear which Andre Villas-Boas later revealed could keep the winger out for one to two weeks.
As Bale initially follows through on the shot he appears to lose balance slightly and his subsequent bodily adjustments cause him to land awkwardly back onto his left leg. It would appear that a combination of a forceful contraction combined with the slight hip and Gluteal mal-alignment when landing caused the hamstring muscle to tear slightly. However, the lack of any significant traumatic impact gives us initial cause for optimism.
Following the shot Bale immediately clutches the back of his thigh, directly over the muscle belly of the hamstring group of muscles and unable to fully weight bear on the affected leg, hobbles off the pitch. We may assume at this point that Bale attempts to “run-off” the injury as the next time the camera cuts to him he can be seen sitting down, back on and further up the pitch, again holding his hamstring over the main muscle belly and looking slightly anxious.
At this point we observe Tottenham’s physio administering a prone, straight leg hamstring stretch, where a range of over 90 degrees is achieved with slight over-pressure. Bale registers relatively little discomfort and indicates the main muscle belly of the hamstrings as the site of the injury. This is encouraging, and an important base-line indicator as it suggests that pain is present, but only at full or end of range and that tendon involvement in the injury is unlikely. In essence a relatively minor grade one tear with only a few fibres involved. Bale then gets to his feet and walks from the pitch independently, and although now able to weight bear on the affected leg, still exhibiting a pronounced gait.
In my estimation a general ball-park figure for this injury would be one to three weeks, however, Bale has genetics in his favour, with the natural body composition of an athlete he has the propensity and the reputation to heal swiftly, even so, on the balance of these observations I feel he will need at least seven days rehabilitation time. A prognosis that makes the trip to Goodison on December 9 touch and go, but one, I feel, should see the influential playmaker once more back into the breach when the Swans roll up to the Lane on December 16.