Aritz Aduriz Will Miss Final Preseason Friendlies Due To Hamstring Soreness
There was a bit of a surprise on Saturday when Aritz Aduriz wasn’t named in the squad to play Athletic’s friendly match against Hannover. Instead, Raúl García started at striker and Iñaki Williams also spent time in the role. After the game, manager Eduardo Berizzo was asked about the situation and revealed that the 37-year-old has been struggling with hamstring pain.
“Aduriz did not participate because of hamstring soreness. He came from Bilbao with that annoyance and we thought it was risky to play him. He trained today and will again tomorrow, but he won’t play tomorrow. We don’t want any setbacks and prefer to protect him for our first league match. Having a player like Aritz, who converts 85% of his shots, guarantees scoring. But, at the same time, scoring is everyone’s responsibility.”
On the surface it is concerning that Aduriz is dealing with pain in his hamstring. Muscle injuries can be very difficult to handle, but the good news is that he has been able to train without any issues. Berizzo has made the decision to keep him out of friendlies in order to protect him and there is no concern about him potentially missing the season opener against Leganés on 20 August.
With Aduriz already ruled out of the final friendly of the summer against Augsburg, Sabin Merino will likely start at striker and will be hoping for a good performance. Athletic have continued to look like a completely different team without Aduriz on the field which often leads to a lack of offensive stability. Choosing to protect the 37-year-old definitely seems like a wise decision from Berizzo and the coaching staff.