Athletic Club have been busy preparing for their next match which will take place on Sunday when they host newly promoted Girona at the San Mamés. After a long international break, Kuko Ziganda will have almost his entire team available and ready to go, meaning he should be able to field a very strong lineup. Of course, Oscar De Marcos will miss the match after suffering a Grade II ankle sprain two weeks ago, but there is now a bit of concern over one other key player in the team.
During Tuesday’s training session, striker Aritz Aduriz felt pain in his back and asked a trainer to take a look at him. He eventually rejoined his teammates but soon left the field out of precaution and did not return. The club has yet to give any statements regarding his removal from training, which could be taken as a good sign, although that is not a guarantee.
As of right now no one knows if the back pain is significant or not. Aduriz could be absolutely fine and not miss any time at all, but there is no word regarding his availability. Kuko Ziganda has been transparent this season about wanting to be very careful with Aduriz, including allowing him to miss training sessions to stay fresh, so only time will tell what this will lead to. If the 36-year-old is unable to play on Sunday, Iñaki Williams will be expected to feature as the center forward.
The Lions did get a bit of good news on Tuesday when Oscar De Marcos took to the field for the first time since his ankle injury. The right-back only did minor recovery work with Xabier Clemente, but it was great to see him back running around. There is still no timetable on his return, but Grade II ankle sprains normally keep a player out for 3-4 weeks. De Marcos suffered his injury two weeks ago. Meanwhile, Ander Iturraspe has been back in training since before the international break after picking up a muscle injury in the preseason. He is on target to be available for Sunday’s game and could finally make his season debut.