Iñigo Martinez And Aritz Aduriz Cleared To Play In Friday’s Basque Derby
Iñigo Martinez has been in a race against time since being forced to leave Saturday’s match against Barcelona with a thigh injury. The defender missed training on Sunday and Tuesday (the players were off on Monday) but the club soon announced that he was only dealing with a bruise. On Wednesday he was able to take part in some of training and the optimism began to pick up.
Thursday’s session was closed to the public, but afterwards Eduardo Berizzo gave his pregame press conference and started off by announcing that Martinez had been cleared to play on Friday. The defender was able to train fully and is available to face off against his former club. Whether or not he actually starts is a different question. So far this season Berizzo have erred on the side of caution with players coming back from injury so only time will tell whether or not the 27-year-old will be in the lineup. That being said, there is a real possibility that he could be in the lineup.
Not surprisingly, Berizzo also announced that Aritz Aduriz is cleared to play. The striker made his return from injury against Barcelona, coming on in the second half, but the manager has been clear that he will not rush the 37-year-old back into heavy minutes. Throughout the week Aduriz only took part in select portions of training which led some to believe that he would not be available, but that isn’t the case. The coaching staff have simply been careful not to overload the striker who could start on Friday.
Friday’s Basque Derby will also see Iago Herrerín named in the squad for the first time this season. The goalkeeper has been recovering from a biceps tear and received his medical clearance on Wednesday. Berizzo will have a big decision to make though, with Unai Simón playing at a high level and Herrerín ready to be back on the field. The manager has already stated that he will wait until the day of the match to choose his starting lineup.