Bale faces fitness battle following surgery

LONDON - Tottenham Hotspur full-back Gareth Bale is in danger of missing the start of next season after undergoing surgery on an injured knee - but his north London club could be forgiven for not wishing him a speedy recovery. Bale moved to Spurs from Southampton in May 2007 but has the unwanted record of not being on the winning side in all 24 Premier League matches he has played for the club. Spurs expect the Wales international to be out for up to two months, meaning he will miss a majority of pre-season training and be short of fitness for the start of the new campaign in August. The 19-year-old withdrew from Wales' World Cup Group Four qualifier against Azerbaijan in Baku this week and a scan showed a "medial meniscal tear", according to a club statement.