Ex-Wales international Ryan Giggs says that Real Madrid star Gareth Bale should "make changes" to both his training regime and style of play in order to avoid the injuries which have so hampered his career in recent seasons.
Bale has been ruled out of Wales' World Cup 2018 qualifiers against Georgia and the Republic of Ireland this week with an injury, which Madrid have confirmed as "an inflammation without a tear in the calf muscle of his left leg."
Reports in Spain suggest that the forward is unlikely to feature again until early November, meaning he will miss both Champions League group games against former club Tottenham.
Bale, 28, has suffered 18 separate injuries since his arrival at the Bernabeu in summer 2013, Giggs told Sky Sports that his one-time Wales teammate must adapt his training and preparation and find what his body needs at this point in his career.
"When you look at Bale and the physical specimen he is, he is always going to be putting his body under pressure," Giggs wrote. "Especially with the sort of challenges he comes up against from other players.
"With the injuries he has had and at the stage of his career, this is when you need to start addressing it. When you get to your late 20s it hits home that you need to start making changes. Everyone is different and I tried to cover every base with yoga, acupuncture, ice baths, but what might work for some players might not for others."
Giggs said that Bale should "adapt his game" and not rely so much on his pace and power as he reached his late 20s.
"You also have to adapt your game," the former Manchester United winger said. "You can't play in your late 20s like you did when you were 19, but that experience means your brain is quicker and you can be more economical yet more effective. I was definitely more effective in games in my late 20s even if I wasn't as quick."
Some pundits who report on Madrid have questioned whether Bale is technically proficient enough to adapt in such a way, however coach Zinedine Zidane dismissed this idea recently, saying that he was "a complete player" who is "very good technically" and with "no problem playing well in tight areas, linking with his teammates."