Aritz Aduriz Takes Important Step Towards Returning From Hip Injury
Athletic returned home full of disappointment following the 3-2 loss to a Real Betis but have no time to mourn the defeat. The Lions will be back in action on Saturday as they host a Eibar in a Basque Derby at San Mamés. Preparations began on Monday when the team returned to training and there was some good news.
After spending the last few weeks working out in the indoor facilities while recovering from a hip injury, Aritz Aduriz made his reappearance at Lezama. The striker did some running drills and ball work apart from the group under the orders of Xabier Clemente, but simply seeing the 38-year-old back on the grass was positive and a sign that he has taken another step towards a return.
Meanwhile, Oscar De Marcos and Cristian Ganea continued to train separately as they are also nursing injuries. As is usually the case following a match, the starters did recovery work while the rest of the squad was available to Garitano. In Monday’s session, the first team scrimmaged a combined team of players from Bilbao Athletic and CD Basconia.
Garitano fielded a starting lineup of Jokin Ezkieta, Iñigo Lekue, Mikel San José, Unai Núñez, Mikel Balenziaga, Mikel Vesga, Beñat, Gaizka Larrazabal, Raúl García, Ibai Gómez, and Asier Villalibre. Iñigo Córdoba was given minutes in place of Balenziaga at one point while San José and Vesga swapped positions midway through the game. Iago Herrerín played in goal for the other team.
Athletic will have the day off on Tuesday but will be back in training at Lezama the following morning. The training sessions on Thursday and Friday will be closed to the public as Garitano finalizes the gameplan for this weekend’s Derby.