THIS STORY WAS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON 12th May, 2017

Once again you know the summer is getting close not by the longer hours of sunlight or the warmer temperatures but by the fact that rumours about Gareth Bale's future are starting up again. Four years ago one Spanish doctor made an incredible prediction about the player's future health.

Ever since Bale left the shores of England to join Real Madrid for a then record breaking transfer fee he has been returning to play in the Premier League for Manchester United, or at least according to rumours.

Whether it was due to reported homesickness in his first season or the barrage of boos and an attack on his car in the second there was always a reason cited for his supposed return to England.

Gareth Bale
Gareth Bale

Bale has had some great days for Real but any dip in form is usually met by boos. PA Images

The thought at the moment is that with Real doing well despite Bale's latest injury absence there's questions as to whether or not Los Blancos are in such need for the Welshman or not.

Currently Bale is out with yet another injury, this time to his ankle, with transfermarkt reporting this to be the 11th injury of his four year spell at the Bernabeu. But four years ago, not long after he joined, one doctor predicted these problems.

Talking to MARCA in October 2013, when Bale had a small chronic disc protrusion, Dr Avelino Parajon said:

"If Real Madrid have signed Gareth Bale knowing about this protrusion, they have committed an error. That is not to say that tomorrow it can be operated on and he can continue playing, like has happened many times.

"But if he already has problems with protruding discs, that indicates that it is not a one-off. When a person has those problems at that age, it suggests that he has a great possibility of suffering herniated discs and symptoms arising from that over time. It is a bad sign for any athlete."

Bale has been restricted to just 17 La Liga starts this season.

Whilst none of the former Southampton winger's injuries have been directly involved with his back they have all been lower body injuries and potentially linked to the back problems that he's had in the past.

It is a worry for Bale that his injuries could cost him his future in Spain and potentially even a move to another club if can't pass a medical test.

Did the doctors words give an insight into the future?

Ryan Sidle

Ryan is a writer for SPORTbible. He covers all sport from football, formula one, cricket, rugby, tennis, athletics, mma and wrestling. He obviously hates YOUR football team and has no interest in synchronised swimming.

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