(Reuters) – Gareth Bale is a major doubt for Wales in their final World Cup qualifier against Belgium on Tuesday after the forward came off at halftime in Saturday’s 5-1 defeat of Belarus.
Wales need a point against the number one ranked team in the world to guarantee runners-up spot in Group E.
“He’s done his own recovery today and we’ll leave it to the last minute to see if he can play any minutes,” Wales manager Robert Page said on Monday.
“He was never going to start. 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.”
The 32-year-old Bale has been recovering from a hamstring injury that has sidelined him for two months for Real Madrid.
Wales have guaranteed a place in the World Cup qualifying playoffs next March after winning their Nations League group but finishing runners-up behind Belgium would increase their hopes of a home draw in their playoff semi-final.
They have 14 points from seven matches, three points more than third-placed Czech Republic, who face Estonia on Tuesday.
(Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Shrivathsa Sridhar)