MADRID (AFP) - Welsh winger Gareth Bale will sit out Real Madrid's Copa del Rey quarter-final, second leg against Espanyol on Tuesday, after failing to recover from a calf strain he picked up in Saturday's 2-0 win over Granada.
Bale had been on the end of a heavy challenge from Jeison Murillo early on, but soldiered on until half-time when he was replaced by Jese Rodriguez.
The 24-year-old began a training session with his team-mates on Monday, but quickly returned to the dressing room and coach Carlo Ancelotti confirmed he would not be risked with a tough encounter away to Athletic Bilbao to come on Sunday.
"Bale tried to train but felt a little niggle in his left leg. We would rather he recovered and he won't play tomorrow. He will train this week to try to be ready for Sunday," the Italian told a press conference.
Real are clear favourites to reach the semi-finals, as they take a 1-0 lead into the game at the Santiago Bernabeu from last week's first leg.
Ancelotti's men have had a perfect start to 2014 as they have yet to concede a goal this year and are on a nine-game winning streak.
However, he insisted he is not taking anything for granted and will name his strongest possible starting line-up for the visit of the Catalans.
"We have a small advantage, but the tie is still open. We need to prepare and play well with the best possible team, to make it to the semi-finals.
"We have to finish off a great January with a good performance against Espanyol."