Real Madrid coach Rafa Benitez says he is optimistic about Gareth Bale's current calf muscle injury -- while not ruling out asking Wales manager Chris Coleman to allow the €100 million forward to sit out his country's upcoming Euro 2016 qualifiers
Initial reports after Bale had suffered a fourth injury to that left calf muscle in just two years were optimistic he would be back for the derbi clash at Atletico Madrid on Oct. 4.
However, there have also been concerns the Wales star could miss the following week's Euro 2016 qualifiers in Bosnia-Herzegovina and at home to Andorra.
The Blancos coach told his news conference ahead of Saturday's La Liga game at home to Granada that the injury was "small" but if necessary he might try to talk to Coleman about how to best manage the situation.
"I do not know if it will be two or three weeks," Benitez said. "It is a small injury, not a serious injury, and our experience is that Gareth recovers well. We are optimistic. We will have to see -- if the player is fit to go and play with his national team there is little you can do. Although I know his national coach and there could be some dialogue. Our objective is to have Gareth back as quickly as possible."
Madrid defender Sergio Ramos also suffered a shoulder injury against Shakhtar which sees him miss this weekend's game, but Raphael Varane has recovered from the knock which saw him substituted midweek and is available for selection against Granada.
With Bale joining James Rodriguez on the sidelines, Madrid may switch to a 4-4-2 shape, but Benitez said that regardless of the system his aim for the season was for attackers such as Cristiano Ronaldo to have freedom of movement.
"I have spoken with [Ronaldo] many times, even today, about tactical things," he said. "The attackers know they have freedom up front, and then duties in defence. Cris can move around, take up positions in centre or on the wing, as long as it is effective for the team."
On Madrid starting the season with four consecutive clean sheets in all competitions for the first time in their history, Benitez said the credit was shared between goalkeeper Keylor Navas and his teammates.
"It is sensational, not by him, but all the team," he said. "The team has helped him out -- but he has made two or three great saves when the opposition has made chances. To break any record at Real Madrid, at this club after more than 100 years' history, to go four games without conceding says something. It is good from him, and good from all the team."
Granada were beaten 9-1 on their last visit to the Bernabeu, and Benitez suggested he may rotate his team ahead of a testing trip to Athletic Bilbao next Wednesday.
"Our objective is to win the game," he said. "This is a squad who can go into any game confident, regardless of who plays. I will pick the players with the characteristics needed for the game, I don't look at whether they are 'first choices' or not. I will pick the best team for Granada, then the best team for Athletic."
Benitez again said he was not interested in getting into any war of words with his former Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard -- who has claimed in a new book that the pair had a poor personal relationship during their time together at Anfield.
"Stevie is a phenomenon -- and out of respect to the club and their fans I let that pass," he said. "My relationship with him very good. I had great years with him, he scored a lot of great goals, helped us win many games. So everything about that, for me, is positive."