Carlo Ancelotti is adamant that Gareth Bale is capable of playing three games in quick succession for Real Madrid.
The world's most expensive player was an unused substitute in Real's 5-0 battering of Levante earlier this month, before missing last Wednesday's UEFA Champions League victory at Liverpool and the Clasico triumph over Barcelona on Saturday because of a hip problem.
Reports in the Spanish press suggested that the Welshman's injury occurred because he is unable to play three matches in a short period of time.
However, Real head coach Ancelotti has dismissed that notion.
"It's a lie that Bale couldn't play three consecutive matches," he said ahead of Real's Copa del Rey clash with Cornella later on Wednesday. "He just has a small injury."
In Bale's absence, the duo of James Rodriguez and Isco have flourished, leading some to question whether the former Tottenham star will be able to regain his place in Real's starting XI.
But Ancelotti insists that Bale is a crucial part of his first-team plans.
"It seems like many have forgotten that Gareth Bale scored in the Copa del Rey and UEFA Champions League finals [last season]," he added. "He is equally important as James Rodriguez and Isco."
Ancelotti also confirmed that Cristiano Ronaldo, Luka Modric, Iker Casillas, Toni Kroos and Sergio Ramos will all be rested for Wednesday's game against third-tier Cornella.comments