Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho is unsure when new loan signing Gareth Bale will return to full fitness but said the 31-year-old's desire to play for “the club of his heart” again could speed up the process.
Bale secured a loan move from Spanish champion Real Madrid back to his former team on Saturday but Spurs said he would only be ready for action after the October international break having injured his knee playing for Wales this month.
“I don't know when Gareth can be back,” Mourinho told the Evening Standard. “The only thing I know is that his motivation is high. He's so happy to be with the club of his heart, he's so happy to play for us.
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“And when a player has this motivation, many times you can short (reduce) the period of recovery, you can short the period of getting fit and ready to play.
“We're more than happy to have him and help him back to a level that made him one of the best players in the world.”
Spurs are due to face Leyton Orient in the third round of the League Cup later on Tuesday but that contest was thrown into doubt after a number of the League Two (fourth-tier) side's players tested positive for COVID-19.