Yeray And Unai López Miss Training at Lezama, Unai Vencedor Works With The First Team
Athletic’s big 3-0 win over Espanyol on Wednesday was desperately needed. The Lions had gone several weeks without a victory and securing three points helped the team to stay in the race for Europe. While the result will certainly service to build confidence, there isn’t much time for celebration. Athletic will travel to Villarreal on Sunday for what will be another very difficult fixture.
The players were back in training on Thursday at Lezama with two important absences. Unai López, who is waiting for tests to determine the extent of a muscle injury, and Yeray were both missing during the session. Beñat was also unable to train due to the fact that he is still recovering from an ankle sprain that will keep him sidelined for at least a few more weeks. At this point there is no explanation as to why Yeray was absent, but the hope is that it was only precautionary.
As the team prepares to play their third game in just over a week, Gaizka Garitano called up a handful of players from Bilbao Athletic for the training session. Among these was Unai Vencedor who, along with Oihan Sancet, could have a chance to travel to Villarreal with Beñat and Unai López both unavailable. Sources have told Inside Athletic that, for now, Mikel San José is the favorite to start alongside Dani García on Sunday. Juan Artola, Jokin Ezkieta, Jon Sillero, Jesús Areso, and Aitor Seguin were also called up for training.
There was also some good news during Thursday’s session as Gorka Guruzeta and Aitor Seguin trained with the team. Guruzeta was even able to participate in the scrimmages as he is now in the final stages of recovery from a torn ACL and could receive medical clearance in November. Seguin has dealt with several significant injuries over the past three years and was in danger of never playing football again. The 24-year-old has been undergoing stem cell therapy and was finally able to work on the grass at Lezama which is very encouraging for the young winger.
Athletic will continue preparing for Villarreal with closed training sessions on Friday and Saturday. Though Beñat and Unai López have already been ruled out for the match, there is hope that Yeray will be able to play and that the center-back isn’t dealing with an injury. If that is the case, Unai Núñez would be expected to take his place in the lineup. Getting a positive result at Estadio de la Cerámica won’t be easy, but the Basques hope to build on the momentum from Wednesday’s victory at San Mamés.