Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has insisted that Gareth Bale is a key part of the team, despite no longer being an automatic starter for Los Blancos.
The Welshman has started on the substitutes' bench for games against Paris Saint-Germain, Real Sociedad and Leganes in February, with Zidane claiming that Bale is still working his way back to full fitness.
The French boss, who has dismissed reports of a lack of faith in Bale, has said that he is only focused on keeping the forward fit for the rest of the season.
"He will always be important in the team and is in the process of getting himself right," Zidane told reporters at a press conference. "A player always misses out, I am not thinking of one or two but all the players.
"I know that some players are not of interest to you but there are those that train each day, hardly ever play and I am interested in them. I see Bale like all of them and I count on all of them.
"The important thing is that they train well and focused. I want him to be 100% and I do not want to lose him again. A lot of things are important and there is a lot also under the surface but I am sure that he will go on to play an important role."
Madrid's next outing is against Alaves in La Liga on Saturday.