Madrid - Gareth Bale trained for the first time under the orders of new Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane on Wednesday after missing the French legend's inaugural session on Tuesday due to a minor muscle injury.
Zidane has insisted that Bale, who has scored seven goals in his last five games, will be central to his plans despite reports in England that the Welshman had been unhappy with the sacking of Rafael Benitez after just seven months in charge on Monday.
"I can understand that he might feel aggrieved by Benitez's departure but I will show him the same affection that he had from Rafa," said Zidane.
"He's a vital player for the team."
Preparations for Zidane's debut in senior management against Deportivo la Coruna on Saturday, after 18 months in charge of Madrid's feeder team Castilla, continued with what the club described as a 90-minute long "strenuous session".
Captain Sergio Ramos wasn't able to train with his teammates, though, due to an injury problem.