José Mourinho has suggested Gareth Bale’s desire to return to Tottenham could accelerate his highly anticipated Premier League comeback, as the forward recovers from a knee injury sustained on international duty.
Spurs anticipate Bale being match fit after the October international break but Mourinho is hopeful the 31-year-old, who has joined on a season’s loan from Real Madrid, could be available sooner.
“I don’t know when Gareth can be back,” Mourinho said. “The only thing that I know is that the motivation is high, he is so happy to be with a club of his heart, he is so happy to play for us and when a player has this motivation, many, many times you can shorten the period of recovering and shorten the period of getting fit and ready to play and we want to help him.
“So when he is available to train with the team, we are more than happy to have him and to be back to a level that [is] maybe one of the best players in the world.”
Tottenham face the prospect of six games in 11 days should they prevail against Leyton Orient in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday, though only two of those are in the league.
Sergio Reguilón, who travelled with Bale to complete a £27.5m transfer from Real Madrid, could feature against Newcastle on Sunday. “He cannot play Tuesday, but I would say that he would be available for us maybe for the end of the week,” Mourinho said.
The Wales manager, Ryan Giggs, has welcomed Bale’s return to Spurs after previously voicing frustration at the player’s lack of game time.
It remains to be seen whether Bale plays any part when Wales travel to Wembley to take on England in a friendly on 8 October before a Nations League double header.