Wales captain Gareth Bale insists he will be fully fit in time for the World Cup despite his lack of action with Los Angeles FC.
Bale has made just two starts among his 11 appearances for the MLS team and has yet to play 90 minutes since joining in July.
But the 33-year-old insists his fitness program is designed to peak for the end of the MLS season and the World Cup in Qatar in November.
Speaking after linking up with Wales for their Nations League games against Belgium and Poland, Bale said: “We have a plan in Los Angeles with what we’re doing. We’re not doing too much right away.”
“All footballers want to play as much as they can, but we are being smart and preparing for the last important part of the season.
“Hopefully that will put me in good shape for the World Cup. I think I’ll be a lot fitter.”
“Of course I want to play the 90 minutes as much as I can, but I understand that I need to prepare for that because I haven’t done much in recent years.
“The plan is to be 100 percent to help LAFC first and foremost. Ultimately that will lead me to be 100 percent fit for the World Cup.”
Bale turned down offers to stay in Europe, including one from his hometown club Cardiff when he moved to the United States after nine turbulent years with Real Madrid.
Wales manager Robert Page will assess Bale’s condition before deciding whether to start him against Belgium, the world’s number two team, in Brussels on Thursday.
“His preparation started as soon as the final whistle blew in his Los Angeles game. He’s going to the nth degree,” Page said.
“I’m not surprised by his professionalism, but I was surprised by how fresh he looked.”