Mikel Balenziaga Diagnosed With Mild-Moderate Hamstring Strain, Expected To Be Sidelined For Three Weeks
The injury bug has hit Athletic hard. Sunday’s 1-1 draw against Getafe claimed two victims as Raúl García and Mikel Balenziaga were both forced to leave the field early in the second half at the San Mamés. Tests confirmed that García is suffering from Hoffitis which will keep him sidelined for a least a few weeks and Balenziaga could be out for just as long.
Athletic Club announced late Monday evening that Balenziaga has been diagnosed with a mild-moderate left hamstring strain in his femoral biceps. The 30-year-old’s timetable for recovery will depend on how well his body responds to treatment, but he is expected to miss three weeks of action. Balenziaga has already begun his rehabilitation which starts with “physiotherapy treatment and performing specific exercises in the gym”.
The injury comes at a disappointing time for the left-back. Yuri Berchiche was recently suspended for three La Liga fixtures following an altercation with a referee and Balenziaga was set to enjoy heavy minutes in his absence. Instead, he will now be working to make a full recovery and try to get back on the field as quickly as possible.
Balenziaga’s absence, coupled with Berchiche’s sanction, leaves manager Eduardo Berizzo with some difficult decisions to make. Luckily, La Liga suspensions don’t carry over to cup matches so Berchiche will be available to play on Wednesday in the first leg of the Copa del Rey against Huesca. However, Toto will have to turn to someone else for the next two league games against Levante and Girona while Berchiche finishes his suspension. Cristian Ganea has yet to make his Athletic debut and could be the one to benefit from the situation.