Malaga managed to edge Branquiazuis 4-3 at the La Rosaleda in their seven goal thriller with the visitors now six games without a league win.
The Portugal superstar netted twice inside 18 minutes, opening the scoring from the spot after Lucas Vasquez - deputising for Bale - was felled in the area, before adding a second with a thumping header.
Bale's anticipated lengthy absence could create more first-team opportunities for James Rodriguez, the Colombia playmaker who has found himself on the margins at the Santiago Bernabeu of late.
The exploits put him in pole position to win this year's Ballon d'Or ahead of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar.
"This is positive, but it's not my individual achievement, " Zidane said. When he don't scores people may think that he didi a bad match but today he scores and his performance was really good.
"He played well with Karim [Benzema] in the middle and dropped out to the wing, working hard and he is back on form".
Sevilla could temporarily climb above champions Barcelona into second with victory over Valencia later on Saturday.
Rodriguez has also started two matches and made one substitute appearance in the Champions League along with an appearance in the starting line-up in Real's Copa del Rey game with Cultural Leonesa last month.
In Sunday's other games, Atletico Madrid play at second-bottom Osasuna, fourth-placed Villarreal host Alaves and bottom club Granada travel to Celta Vigo.
Fellow midfielder Mateo Kovacic is now a doubt for the Clasico however after suffering a recurrence of a recent ankle problem. "Nothing to worry about, but it's what we changed him".
Bale will undergo surgery on his ankle next Tuesday, with Colombia worldwide James ready to step in after struggling for regular playing time this season.
"We were lacking a bit in everything, but we're happy for the three points, they're important".
Dermot Corrigan is a Madrid-based football writer who covers La Liga and the Spain national team for ESPN FC.