Jose Mourinho admits he was ‘surprised’ by Gareth Bale’s latest injury after being quizzed on the winger’s absence during Tottenham’s thrilling FA Cup defeat to Everton on Wednesday.
Tottenham crashed out of the FA Cup in the fifth round after losing 5-4 at Goodison Park in extra-time, Bernard scoring the winner in the added period following a classic cup contest on Merseyside.
Spurs fielded a strong side with Harry Kane later coming off the bench to make it 4-4 and force extra-time, though the absence of Bale was once again a talking point with the Welsh international left out of the squad.
Bale has endured a disappointing spell in north London since signing on loan from Real Madrid last summer, starting just twice in the Premier League and making a series of ineffective performances for Spurs this season.
The 31-year-old took to social media on Tuesday to post an image following training, before being excluded from the match-day squad at Everton amid an injury that Mourinho says came as a ‘surprise’.
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“We played against West Brom on Sunday, he didn’t play. On Monday I was a little bit surprised by him wanting to have a scan because he was not feeling comfortable with the muscular area, so he didn’t train on the Monday,” the Portuguese said at his post-match press conference
“Then on Tuesday, he trained with the team, but I was informed that his desire was to work with the sport science to strengthen the area he was not feeling comfortable with, and that is the reason why he was not here.
“I don’t think it is an obvious, clear injury. I would say that it feels uncomfortable, and because of that the training session couldn’t be 100 per cent, but I don’t think we can speak about an injury.”
Mourinho was asked again on Bale’s situation with the winger having struggled to make an impact this season, but refused to expand further on the star’s latest injury issue.
“This is the Everton post-match press conference I think, and Gareth was not here. I am being completely open and honest about the situation.”