Gareth Bale

Gareth Bale will not start for Wales against Belgium in a World Cup qualifier on Tuesday, and he may not play at all.

Bale earned his 100th cap in Saturday’s 5-1 win over Belarus after a two-month layoff due to a hamstring injury, but he was replaced after 45 minutes.

On Monday, Wales captain Gareth Bale practiced separately from the rest of the team.

Manager Robert Page: “He was never going to start against Belgium.

“We knew that coming into camp. The plan was always for him to get a half in the first game and then come on and maybe have an impact in the second game.”

On Bale’s recovery following the Belarus game, Page said: “He is going to be stiff. He has not played for a couple of months and to throw him in was a big ask from a physical point of view.

“He’ll recover on his own (on Monday) and we’ll leave it to the last minute to see if he can play minutes. He is getting there, slowly but surely. We will get him back to full fitness.

“It’s frustrating for him. He made a tremendous effort to get fit for the game and he takes credit for that.”

Wales’ Nations League performances have ensured them a place in the World Cup play-offs in March.

Page’s team, though, needs at least a point against Belgium to finish second in the group, ahead of the Czech Republic, and earn a home semi-final tie.

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