The Doctor Is In: Josean Lekue Gives Medical Update On The Athletic Club Squad
With players returning from summer vacation and some carrying previous injuries or undergoing surgery, it is important to have a medical assessment of the entire squad at the beginning of the preseason. As is usually the case, there is an update provided by Athletic Club Doctor, Josean Lekue, following the second day of training and that trend continued on Tuesday. He took the time to speak to the media about any and all concerns and began by discussing the importance of medical assessments.
“At the beginning of every season we do medical assessments with the team from IMQ Euskadi. We have dedicated a part of the assessment for locomotive, podiatry, and this year we added an optometric test to obtain data that allows us to help the players improve. Our job is to get the largest number of players competing at the highest level as long as possible during the season. Every year things as faster. In the past the summer would be total rest, but that isn’t the case anymore. Players stay active and our studies find that every year they come back in better shape.”
Turning his attention to the team, Doctor Lekue revealed that there were no issues found during player medicals last week. He also admitted that not having the pressure of playing in European qualifying matches will help the team assimilate and ease the risk of injury during the preseason.
“The good news is that there were no problems found during players medicals. With no competitive pressure, the training load will be different from previous years, which can be a good thing. There was already an indirect knowledge of the new coaching staff before they arrived. The first two days of training are proving simple and things are going very well.”
During Tuesday’s training sessions Peru Nolaskoain had to leave the field after picking up an ankle injury. Doctor Lekue said that it isn’t anything serious, but that the staff still have to be careful at this time of year. He also discussed players like Oihan Sancet who haven’t had much of a summer vacation and need to be watched closely for fatigue.
“Peru suffered a sprained ankle, but we do not think it is a very serious problem. It is just a slight sprain in his left ankle. We will have to put a spotlight on Oihan [Sancet] to help monitor for problems of fatigue. He did not have any issues last season or during the Mediterranean Games this summer, which is good. The truth is that he is doing very well. Our greatest fear is injuries because they are the factor that most affects the performance of the team.”
Doctor Lekue concluded his press conference by discussing the status of Raúl García and Gorka Guruzeta who both underwent surgery recently. He also touched on Aritz Aduriz who, at 37 years old, is still playing at a high level. As things stand now all three players are doing well, but will be monitored closely for any potential issues. Lastly, he mentioned that Iker Muniain is doing very well after returning from an ACL tear late last season.
“Raúl García’s instructions were to rest and remain cautious for two months. At this moment he is fully available to us. When we decided on the procedure to correct Raúl’s problem we knew that the success rate was 80%. Nothing negative has happened and we remain expectant. Gorka [Guruzeta] is doing well. He’s been working with our physiotherapist all June. For us Aduriz is a challenge because it is difficult to respond to the expectations posed by the player. He is very demanding of himself and with the team, doctors, coaches, and his teammates. The availability of such a player of his quality is in the best interest of the team. Iker [Muniain] had a crushing injury last season and was out for many months. At the end of the season he had us all optimistic and these two days of training confirm our impression, which is that he is doing fine. He works hard and has sustained his work while on vacation. We expect the best from him, as always.”
Going into the preseason it is definitely good to hear that the squad as a whole is healthy and in shape. For now Peru Nolaksoain is the only injury in the team, but it doesn’t look to be anything serious. As the weeks pass the medical staff will be keeping close eyes on players like Raúl García and Aritz Aduriz, but for now there is reason to be excited. As always Doctor Josean Lekue, his staff, and the team at IMQ Euskadi are doing fantastic work for Athletic Club.