Bilbao Athletic have been busy preparing for their first season under manager Gaizka Garitano and there is a lot to be excited about. The Katxorros will be looking to compete for promotion back to the Segunda and they certainly have the quality to put up a major fight in the table. Over the past few weeks the squad has been trimmed down to 23 players in hopes of being able to give everyone regular minutes and create a cohesion and rhythm on the pitch. Sadly, one of those players will now miss a large portion of the season.
Athletic Club has announced that midfielder Gorka Perez suffered a knee injury during Friday’s training session. The 22-year-old underwent tests that confirmed that he has a torn ACL. According to Athletic, he is scheduled to undergo surgery to repair the issue during the second week of September.
Perez joined Lezama in 2014 when he signed from Barakaldo and has been an important player since being promoted to Bilbao Athletic. Last season he made 18 appearances under Kuko Ziganda and was expected to play a role in Garitano’s team this year. As is the case with most ACL recoveries, Perez will miss roughly six to eight months before being able to return to regular football activities. That timetable can change quite a bit, but it is clear that Bilbao Athletic will have to do without his services for most of the campaign.
This unfortunate injury will likely see increased minutes for Peru Nolaskoain while newly promoted Victor San Bartolomé could also see the field. Bilbao Athletic has taken a hit to their midfield depth, but as of right now there is no sign that anyone will be promoted from CD Basconia, although that could certainly still happen at any time. For now all of the focus will be on the league which starts this weekend. Bilbao Athletic will begin their campaign on Sunday when they host UD Logroñés in Bilbao.