Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho says the reason Gareth Bale was not involved in Wednesday's FA Cup defeat to Everton at Goodison Park was not down to an injury.
Spurs lost 5-4 to Everton in a thrilling fifth-round tie in a game most would have expected Bale to start or at least feature off the bench.
However, the Wales international was not included in the match-day squad and after the game Mourinho said it was a surprise to him.
"We played against West Brom on Sunday, he didn't play," Mourinho said.
"On Monday I was a little bit surprised by him wanting to have a scan because he was not feeling comfortable with the muscular area, so he didn't train on the Monday.
"Then on the Tuesday he trained with the team, but I was informed that his desire was to work with the sport science to strengthen the area he was not feeling comfortable with, and that is the reason why he was not here.
"I don't think it is an obvious, clear injury. I would say that it feels uncomfortable, and because of that the training session couldn't be 100 per cent, but I don't think we can speak about an injury."
Mourinho was asked to expand a little: "Gareth was not here and the only thing I can say about Gareth was the question that I was asked and I wanted to make it very clear the situation which I'm being completely open and honest about."
Bale has only started two games in the Premier League this season since arriving on loan from Real Madrid but he has been used more in cup competitions when available.
The Welsh forward was only started 10 games in all competitions with six of those coming in the group stage of the Europa League.
Spurs fans were realistic enough to understand that they would not be getting the same player that left the club for La Liga in the summer of 2013 but Mourinho's comments must be a cause for concern.
Spurs are back in action on Saturday when they face the in-form Premier League Manchester City, who last tasted defeat on November 21st away to Mourinho's side.