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Gareth Bale To Miss England Qualifier With Hamstring Injury

Wales winger Gareth Bale will miss Saturday's key Euro 2012 qualifier against England with a hamstring injury. The Welsh FA released a statement confirming several earlier reports that the 21-year-old would miss the match after Bale was unable to train on Wednesday and now Wales will be without their top player for their clash against the Three Lions at Millenium Stadium.

"Due to a hamstring problem, Gareth Bale has had to withdraw from the Wales squad to face England," a Football Association of Wales statement said. "He felt tight last week during training with his club. After playing 90 minutes on Saturday he felt some muscle tightness."

"Initially, this was expected to be muscle soreness after playing his first game. On joining-up with the Welsh squad he was kept off his feet in training for two days to recover. As he still felt tight in the warm-up on Tuesday, Gareth was pulled-out of the session."

"He did not train at all on Wednesday and was sent for a scan. The scan revealed that Gareth Bale picked-up his injury last week."

The Tottenham winger made a name for himself with several scintillating performances to help Spurs qualify for the UEFA Champions League last season and his top form this season elevated his status to one of the world's best left-sided players. He was expected to be the focal point of the Wales attack on Saturday and a constant thorn in the England side, but now the team will have to go on without him.

Bale had only just returned from a six-week layoff due to a back injury. While no statement on his prognosis has been made, the injury is not feared to be serious and the expectation is that he will return for Tottenham's next league match on April 2 in advance of Spurs' April 5 Champions League match against Real Madrid.