The FIFA virus strikes again. International breaks are always a scary thing due to the possibility of key players going down injured and missing time with their clubs. That could be the case with Athletic center-back, Yeray, who was forced to leave the Spain U21 match against Italy with less than an hour played. After taking an elbow in the face from Chisea while challenging for the ball in the air, the 22-year-old began pouring blood and was immediately substituted off.
Yeray was then rushed to the hospital in Rome where he is undergoing tests. The early prognosis was that he had suffered a broken nose due to the area that was hit and the amount of blood that followed the blow. The team officially announced later that evening that he did suffer a broken nose and a dislocation.
The first concern is, of course, the player’s health. With this just being a broken nose it likely isn’t much to worry about and he should be fine. However, fans are worried about his availability for Saturday’s match against Osasuna at El Sadar. While countless footballers have played with broken noses and used masks to protect their faces, it always comes down to the risk involved and how much a player has recovered. For right now, Yeray’s availability for Saturday’s game is in question.
It has been a blur of a season for Yeray. After making his first team debut he quickly became a starter and has been one of the best players in the team. Then the 22-year-old was forced to miss time due to a diagnosis of testicular cancer which he overcame to jump right back into the starting lineup. Last week he was able to make his debut with the Spain U21 team before taking this nasty blow to his face in his second match. Knowing Yeray, he will definitely want to play against Osasuna and he still very well could; but it will all come down to the severity of his injury and how quickly he can recover.
UPDATE: Yeray returned to Spain on Tuesday with the rest of the Spain U21 team and came straight home to Bilbao with teammate Inaki Williams. Once returning home, the defender went to get tests from a local Doctor. Athletic Club officially announced that he has a double fracture in his nose and will be re-evaluated in 48 hours. This checkup will determine if/when he can return to training and be available for matches. His availability for Saturday’s game against Osasuna is in question and he will be required to wear a mask for some period of time.