Yeray has been through a lot over the past 12 months. Last summer he was called up to train with the first team and was able to earn a place in the squad. In September he made his debut and from there it was no looking back as he quickly became the starting center-back alongside Aymeric Laporte. However, tragedy struck in December when he was diagnosed with testicular cancer. After undergoing surgery he was back on the field very quickly and the dreaded issue seemed to be behind him.
Over the past summer, while competing with Spain’s U21 team, a routine check found that he had suffered a relapse and that he would have to undergo chemotherapy. He was ruled out until roughly the middle of September and that is now where he finds himself. According to a report from Juanma Velasco of Marca, the 22-year-old has finally finished his chemotherapy and is now waiting on his latest tests and scans to determine if he can return to training. If those tests check out correctly, he would rejoin his teammates very soon. During Monday’s training session, Yeray did running drills with Xabier Clemente while his teammates were preparing for Wednesday’s match against Atletico Madrid.
In a recent interview, manager Kuko Ziganda made it clear that the team is going to be patient with Yeray. He sees no reason to rush the defender back, especially with the backline playing so well right now. The manager knows that the longtime health and well-being is the most important thing and Athletic is not going to put any timetables or parameters on his return. Teammates have said that Yeray has been in a great mood and showing strength despite his battle. As long as his recent tests check out, it shouldn’t be long before he is back in the team.
In addition, Oscar De Marcos was still unable to train normally on Monday as he is recovering from a Grade II ankle sprain. He is expected to rejoin the team soon, but there is no specific date. Mikel Rico also missed practice with an ankle problem, although the severity is unknown at this point. The Lions have a tough test ahead of them on Wednesday when they will host Atletico Madrid at the San Mamés. Athletic currently hold sole possession of sixth place in the La Liga table and want to keep their strong start to the season going.