Mikel Rico Avoids Ankle Fracture, Hopes To Continue Playing Regular Minutes

Mikel Rico

Mikel Rico suffered an ankle injury against Deportivo (AC)

When Mikel Rico was forced to leave Wednesday’s friendly against Deportivo with an ankle injury there was immediate concern. After the game manager Eduardo Berizzo revealed that it was a re-aggravation of an older injury and the fear was that Rico had suffered a fracture. Thankfully, the midfielder had an MRI on Thursday after returning to Bilbao and told Onda Vasca that there is no fracture.

“There is no fracture after yesterday’s blow so that is good news. I hope to manage the pain well and be available to train next week. I was most afraid that there was a fracture so it was good news. I got hit on the fifth metatarsal, where I have had discomfort before, and it hurt really bad. Every time I tried to put weight on it I felt a stabbing pain and couldn’t continue. We were afraid that it was fractured but the MRI showed that it wasn’t.”

Rico will sit out of training for the rest of the week and will benefit from the fact that the team has the weekend off. If all goes well he could be back in training with his teammates on Monday. The midfielder also said that he has enjoyed playing more this season and that he turned down the offer to join Huesca because he had worked so hard to get to Athletic.

“After a hard start to the season I’ve had more prominence in recent games and I want to keep that going. I think that I offer some specific strengths in terms of intensity. You can have better or worse games. I’ve played some bad ones but the fans have forgiven me. When I pursued the world of football I never thought I would make it where I am today. Over the summer there was an option to leave and go to Huesca, but after everything it took to get to Athletic I decided to stay.”

Mikel Rico

At 34 years old, Rico wants to continue playing at a high level (LaLiga)

When asked about the fact that Athletic have gone 11 games without a win Rico admitted that the season hasn’t gone according to plan. That being said, Berizzo hasn’t deviated from his style of play and the team is working hard to turn things around as quickly as possible.

“Berizzo’s system hasn’t changed. He’s changed some players who have different profiles, but the idea of the game hasn’t changed – press high and be vertical. After going 11 games without winning we are aware that we are not doing as well as we would like. The fans want to see Athletic win, especially at the San Mamés. It is normal that we will receive criticism but we are working hard to improve.”

Athletic Club will be back in action on 25 November when they host Getafe at the San Mamés. The Zurigorri currently sit 17th in the La Liga table and desperately need a win to jumpstart their season. Luckily, the team will have the rest of the international break to prepare for the upcoming fixture and there will be no excuse for the Lions to not put in a solid performance at home.

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