GARETH BALE has stepped up his recovery from injury in the hope of being fit to lead Wales towards a World Cup play-off spot.
The Real Madrid star has been ruled out since suffering a serious hamstring injury in training with the Spanish giants last month.
Wales boss Robert Page is optimistic his captain will be ready for November’s crunch qualifying double-header at home to Belarus and Belgium.
And Real posted a picture on their website on Wednesday afternoon featuring the 32-year-old running at the club’s training ground.
The sight of Bale back doing light training will be a major boost to Wales and their fans after Page’s men picked up four points without him in qualifiers against the Czech Republic and Estonia.
Reports in Spain suggest the forward could even return to action at the end of October.
This would give the 32-year-old a couple of weeks to get up to speed for his country.
Four points for Wales from their final two qualifiers would be enough for Page’s men to book a play-off spot next March for Qatar.
Wales, who are third in Group E but level with the Czechs on 11 points, host Belarus at the Cardiff City Stadium on Saturday 13 November.
A positive result – on what would be Bale’s 100th international appearance – would push the Dragons into second spot in Group E as their rivals the Czechs do not play.
But Page’s men face a daunting final day showdown with Roberto Martinez’s Belgium – ranked No1 in the world – on the final matchday of qualifiers on Tuesday 16 November.
The Czechs have a favourable fixture in the battle for second place when they host Estonia.
In addition, Tomas Soucek and his team-mates currently have a better goal difference of two over Wales and have scored four more goals in the qualifiers.
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