Mikel San José Returns To Training, Oscar De Marcos 10 Days Away From Returning From Ankle Injury
As Athletic prepare to play three games in six days, Gaizka Garitano is perfectly aware that he will have to rotate the team. The manager has only changed up the lineup over the first four games of the season due to injuries but that will now change. It will be up to Garitano to get the selections right and having a healthy squad certainly makes things much easier.
Mikel San José has featured just once this season, coming on as a substitute against Getafe, and has even been left out of the squad altogether at times. That was the case when Athletic traveled to Mallorca on Friday night, but it was also due to the fact that the midfielder had missed the previous training session with discomfort. The club never announced what the issue was exactly and San José returned to training on Tuesday after the team was given the past two days off.
Unai López and Dani García have functioned as the starting midfielders in Athletic’s double pivot, but San José and Beñat will be needed during the upcoming busy schedule. Additionally, Mikel Vesga will likely be called up for the first time this season and Oihan Sancet could get some minutes as well.
Unfortunately, Garitano will still be without Oscar De Marcos. The 30-year-old suffered a Grade II ankle sprain in the draw against Getafe but did take another big step forward in his recovery on Tuesday. De Marcos was able to start working with the ball at his feet at Lezama and sources report that he will be able to return to training in 10 days.
The absence of De Marcos means that Iñigo Lekue will be expected to play at some point, though De Marcos could be back in the squad for Athletic’s trip to Celta Vigo ahead of the next international break. Other players such as Ibai Gómez, Gaizka Larrazabal, Mikel Balenziaga, and Kenan Kodro could also have chances with Garitano needing to balance minutes during an important stretch of the season.