Gareth Bale back in Real Madrid training after return from surgery

Gareth Bale has boosted Real Madrid by returning to training.

Bale has not played since November after having ankle surgery, but Real Madrid tweeted a photograph of the 27-year-old training at their headquarters on Sunday.

He later tweeted a photograph of the training session and wrote that he "can't wait to be back in action now."

Real manager Zinedine Zidane said on Friday he hoped Bale would be back in action for Madrid by the time of their Champions League round of 16 second leg game against Napoli on March 7.

Without Bale, Madrid have maintained their position at the top of the LaLiga table despite intense pressure from Barcelona.

Saturday's win at Osasuna means they are a point clear of their rivals with two games in hand.

News of Bale's imminent return will please Wales boss Chris Coleman ahead of next month's vital World Cup qualifier against Republic of Ireland in Dublin.

Wales are third in Qualifying Group D, four points behind the Republic, who lead the group with three wins and a draw from their four games.