Athletic has already had to deal with a handful of injuries this season. Aymeric Laporte and Sabin Merino have both suffered leg muscle problems that saw them miss time, while Inigo Lekue was also ruled out for a bit, although the issue was never revealed to the public. Ander Iturraspe joined that list on Saturday when he was forced to leave the game against Reus after just ten minutes of play. He stretched out his left leg to deflect a dangerous shot and them immediately grabbed his hamstring in pain. His availability for Thursday’s Europa League clash is now very seriously in question.
On Tuesday, Athletic Club officially revealed that Iturraspe has been diagnosed with a grade two muscle strain in his left leg. They said that his return will be dependent on how well his recovery goes over the next few days.
With a return date not even mentioned, it looks certain that the midfielder will miss the match against Dinamo Bucuresti on Thursday. That is disappointing news for Iturraspe who already had to sit out the first meeting due to a suspension carried over from last season. Thankfully, the Lions should be able to fill the void thanks to a very deep midfield unit. Beñat and Mikel Vesga are expected to start together once again, while Mikel Rico and Mikel San Jose will provide coverage off of the bench.
According to Kuko Ziganda, Ander Iturraspe is poised for big things this season. He recently said that the 28-year-old will play a major role in the team this year and that this injury was an unfortunate set-back. Thankfully, Iturraspe’s injury wasn’t something worse. Although he will miss at least a few days of training, he shouldn’t be out of action for too long. If all goes well, he may even be available for the next round of the Europa League if Athletic Club are able to advance past Dinamo on Thursday.