Raúl García Returns To Training, Expected to Play Against Levante
When Raúl García left the field with a knee injury on Sunday against Getafe there was serious concern. The midfielder was in obvious pain and after the game the club announced that he has suffered a sprain. Thankfully, tests revealed that he actually had Hoffitis and the hope was that he wouldn’t miss more than three weeks. Always the overachiever, García is ready to make his return.
Raúl García returned to regular training with his teammates on Thursday and all signs point to him being cleared to play on Monday night against Levante. At this point there is no way to tell if he will be in the starting lineup, but the fact that he has recovered so quickly is great news for Athletic. The 32-year-old has been a vitally important player for the team and having him available could be a difference maker.
After Wednesday’s 4-0 win over Huesca Eduardo Berizzo eluded to the fact that he wanted to use the same midfield trio of Iker Muniain, Beñat, and Mikel San José against Levante. This could mean that Raúl García would start on the bench if called up, which may be a good way to work him back into action after a week of recovery.
Mikel Rico is still expected to remain out as he has yet to return to training after suffering an ankle injury nearly three weeks ago against Deportivo. Thankfully, Yeray has already received the medial green light and was included in the squad against Huesca, although he didn’t play. The big issue, however, is the absence of Mikel Balenziaga who is still nursing a hamstring injury. With Yuri Berchiche suspended for the next two league games Berizzo will have to make a difficult decision as to who will play at left-back. Thursday’s training session suggests that Cristian Ganea may be primed for his first start of the season.