Fans of both the Republic of Ireland and Wales have had their emotions toyed with a bit this Thursday afternoon, as mixed reports have emerged about an ankle injury that will sideline the Real Madrid star for the start of 2017.
The Republic of Ireland play Wales on March 23rd in Dublin's Aviva Stadium, and it will be an absolutely massive game for both sides as if either can manage to claim a win they will take a massive stride towards automatic qualification.
With Sky Sports initially reporting he would be out for two to three months, it looked as though the outstanding Bale was set to be fit right in time to play in that match, but reports have emerged later in the day that suggest he could miss the game as treatment on the injury could take up to four months.
Gareth Bale is likely to be out for 4 months with an ankle injury, Wales' World Cup qualifier against Republic of Ireland is 4 months today
— BBC Wales Sport (@BBCWalesSport) November 24, 2016
After that update from the BBC, fans of both Ireland and Wales took to social media to pray... For very different reasons.
Many Irish fans are refusing to get their hopes up and fully expect the Real Madrid superstar to line out in March, while others are crossing their fingers and hoping it comes just too soon for him.
Bale out for 2 to 4 months, never wish injuries on players but let it be 4 months, Ireland play Wales in exactly 4 months...
— P (@DailyMesut) November 24, 2016
Yeah yeah, they said Ledley would be out for months as well. Bale will get a nice rest before Ireland away.
— ffwtbol (@ffwtbol) November 24, 2016
Bale is out for 4 months he could miss the Ireland match, yessss
— Cian Smith (@CianSmith98) November 24, 2016
All this talk about whether Bale might miss Ireland match. It's in Jaysus March. He could be passed fit and stand on a rake the day before
— Denis Hurley (@Denis_Hurley) November 24, 2016
Gareth Bale out for 4 months. Ireland play wales 4 months today in WC qualifier. Nearly as big a loss to wales as us losing Robbie Brady
— Caolan (@Caolan1983) November 24, 2016
Bale out for four months really boosts Ireland's chances of topping our group
— Fiach (@FiachOByrne) November 24, 2016
Bale out for 4 months and could well miss Ireland game... Massive... Even if fit he'll certainly be lacking game time and match fitness
— Niall Byrne (@thisisniallllll) November 24, 2016
*Sees Gareth Bale is out for a few months*
*hopes he recovers soon*
*sees next Ireland fixture*
*rescinds well wishes* pic.twitter.com/DaA5eSjw1W
— Emlyn Begley (@EmlynBegley) November 24, 2016
Sickened for Gareth Bale, as he has been playing brilliantly but huge boost for Ireland if he misses the game on March 24th.
— Cormac O'Malley (@cormacpro) November 24, 2016
But over in Wales, there is major concern that Gareth Bale won't make it amongst the supporters.
Gutted that Gareth Bale has been ruled out for four months with an ankle injury, hope he makes it back, before the Ireland game. #Bale
— Jonesy (@Jonesy_OmegaMan) November 24, 2016
Pray Bale will be back for Ireland away, need our strongest team possible at the qualifiers
— Jamie. (@JamieSnailham) November 24, 2016
Gareth Bale in Ireland #WhatIWantForChristmasIn4Words
— Dr. Geraint Evans (@drgoevans) November 24, 2016
Pray For Bale ?? Ireland in March. https://t.co/5DKLlLyIoI
— ⚽️ Olly Clifford ⚽️ (@c7_OllyClifford) November 24, 2016
Latest news from Spain....Bale expected to be out for 4 months
Wales play Rep of Ireland on March the 24th
You do the maths!
— Owain Llyr (@owsllyr) November 24, 2016
Praying Bale is gonna be fit for Ireland away, It won't be the same out there without him! Still be a class trip mind, ain't been in years.
— Gareth Wynne (@GarethWynneNFFC) November 24, 2016
Gareth Bale with ruptured tendons in his ankle, if he missed the Ireland game I'll be crying myself to sleep for weeks.
— Mike Jones (@mike_jones96) November 24, 2016
Ain't no way Bale's being fit for Ireland away. It's 4 months today..
— Matt (@matthewjamesali) November 24, 2016
Bale injured for up to 4 months! Ireland away is crucial as well ?
— louis hodgetts (@louboy94) November 24, 2016
We won't get a real idea as to how likely he is to be fit in time until around February of next year, and who knows what other injuries may or may not pop up in that time.
It's too far away to be worrying about 'touch-and-go fitness'... But it's Gareth Bale. There is no denying that his absence would be a genuine gamechanger in approach from both sides. We're just going to have to wait and see.