On Saturday Athletic Club played their second friendly of the summer when they took on FC Sion in Switzerland. The Lions cruised to a 2-0 victory to earn their first win of the summer and the Cuco Ziganda era. However, not everything in the match was positive. Early in the first half Ziganda was forced to make his first change of the game and it wasn’t planned.
Aymeric Laporte was subbed off at the half hour mark with Xabi Etxeita taking his place. The defender was suffering from discomfort in his left hamstring and was seen walking to the locker room with an ice pack on his leg.
The 23-year-old did not need medical assistance to leave the pitch which is a good sign. Initial thoughts are that he has suffered a simple muscle strain or pull and should be alright after some time of rest. Athletic announced at halftime that he had suffered “a muscle overload” which isn’t uncommon during preseason due to players coming back from vacation. The fact that he did not need any immediate medical attention is an encouraging note.
With Yeray ruled out until mid September fans are understandly worried about Laporte’s availability. Ziganda currently has Eneko Boveda, Xabi Etxeita, and Unai Nunez available as the team’s center-backs. Enric Saborit and Mikel San Jose are also capable of deputizing in that role, which will give coverage for any possible friendlies that Laporte misses. Cuco Ziganda did say after the game that the substitution happened out of precaution and that Laporte did not ask for a change. The hope is that no major injury has taken place.