The winger was left clutching his ankle after a lunging tackle by the Scotland
midfielder in the 18th minute of Spurs’ goalless draw with
Bale, whose season was ended by an Adam horror tackle just over a year ago, received treatment and played out the rest of the half in obvious discomfort before being substituted at half-time.
The challenge, which was late, from behind and always unlikely to win the ball, drew a furious response from the Spurs bench who gestured in vain for the Liverpool midfielder to be booked.
Andre Villas-Boas, the
Bale and Adam have history. The Scot escaped a Football Association charge in May 2011 while playing for Blackpool after a horror tackle on Bale at White Hart Lane left the Welshman with ruptured ankle ligaments.
Bale’s fitness was already making headlines after he pulled out of Great Britain’s Olympic squad with a back injury only to later play and score for Spurs on their pre-season tour before Team GB had even played their first match.
Sepp Blatter, the Fifa president, suggested Bale could be banned from playing for his club for the duration of the Olympics after his withdrawal.
Bale’s injury scare was the only real moment of note in a subdued game played in front of 42,723 fans, the majority of whom were Liverpool fans, in near 100F temperatures.
The stifling heat and the poor state of the pitch, which had been shipped into the stadium specifically for the match, combined for a slow-paced first half with few genuine chances.
Aaron Lennon squandered Tottenham’s best opportunity, hitting the post from less than a yard out after a floated cross from Bale evaded everyone before falling to Lennon at the back post.
The angle was acute and the fact that the ball made its way through to him came as a surprise to Lennon, although he should have scored.
Harry Kane, Tottenham’s only recognised striker following Jermaine Defoe’s withdrawal from the tour following a family tragedy, also came close with a cute turn and shot which trickled narrowly wide of Brad Jones’ post.
Liverpool, who persisted with the new 4-3-3 formation favoured by Brendan Rogers, had the majority of the chances but rarely looked like scoring.
Joe Cole and Jonjo Shelvey tested Brad Friedel with shots before youngster Adam Morgan sprung the offside trap. The 18-year-old hesitated before unleashing a low left foot strike which Friedel tipped around his near post.
Martin Skrtel came closest to breaking the deadlock in a second half which saw 21 substitutions and little entertainment. The centre back ran from the half-way line, beating two men before a curling a shot from 20 yards which was easily held by Friedel.
The introduction of Steven Gerrard, the first time the Liverpool skipper has appeared in pre-season, brought the biggest cheer of the afternoon. But the midfielder’s only contribution to the game was to pick up a yellow card for cynically hauling down Tottenham youngster Adam Smith.
Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas said that Adam's tackle could have put Bale in hospital and called on Adam to apologise to the winger.
"I think it is a very nasty challenge from Charlie," the Tottenham boss said. "The player is gone and he comes in from behind on Gareth’s ankle. I did not know the previous history between the two. I know now.
"It is a difficult one to be fair. You do not want to end up in a game with Liverpool with 10 men. Charlie came to me and said something about the challenge. I can accept but I think he should go to the player to say sorry. Because if the player escapes hospital it is because he is very lucky.
"The last time he was out for three months and in the end it is the Premiership that suffers without a player of Bale’s talent. I can never doubt Charlie’s integrity but it is a very very nasty challenge.”
Asked about Bale’s condition, Villas-Boas added: “No, he is not ok. He is so-so. It is extremely painful and twisted, his ankle."
Bale left the stadium wearing a protective boot over his left ankle.
Meanwhile, when Villas-Boas was asked about reports that Tottenham and Everton have agreed a fee for Steven Pienaar, he said: "I think it is one that is very very close.
"We have seen Everton's interest in the player for quite some time. It was made public by their manager and their players. He is a player they appreciate so much.
"Stephen is an excellent player and an excellent person. At the moment he is still a Tottenham player but anything can happen in the next couple of hours."