There was a lot of confusion during Sunday’s match against Getafe when Oscar De Marcos was forced to leave the field after only 15 minutes of play. The 28-year-old beat his defender and played a ball diagonally to Mikel San Jose then immediately sat down and asked for medical assistance. He was able to walk off the field under his own power but was not able to continue playing. Upon replay there were no signs of any twisting or awkward movement, but he was seen holding his left leg. Soon Athletic announced that he had suffered a left ankle sprain.
De Marcos underwent further tests on Monday to discover the severity of his injury with early signs pointing to it not being anything overly serious. On Tuesday the club officially announced that he has been diagnosed with a Grade II left ankle sprain.
Players will normally miss three to four weeks of action after suffering a Grade II ankle sprain, but there have been many cases of earlier returns. That is the time frame that will likely be placed on De Marcos, meaning he will definitely miss the next few matches. Iñigo Lekue is expected to fill in at right-back and did a fine job on Sunday against Getafe. After an injury plagued season last year this isn’t the start that De Marcos wanted to get off to.
To understand the injury it is first important to know that a Grade I ankle sprain is a simple stretching of the ligament. A Grade II involves some ligament tearing, but not a full tear. Of course, a Grade III is when the entire ligament is torn. These issues rarely need surgery and that will be the case with De Marcos. The club confirmed that he has already begun his recovery process which will involve a lot of rest, ice, and elevation to help the ankle heal on its own. With the right-back now ruled out for a while it was good news to hear that Ander Iturraspe returned to training on Monday after missing a few weeks with a muscle strain. The midfielder could be included in the squad for Thursday’s Europa League second leg match against Panathinaikos which will take place at the San Mamés.