Yuri Berchiche Absent From Training Two Days Before The Basque Derby
Injuries have been a major issues for Athletic over the past month or so. Aritz Aduriz has missed several weeks with a hip issue, Beñat was sidelined for over a month with an ankle sprain, and Oscar De Marcos and Cristian Ganea are still recovering from ankle injuries themselves. Worst of all, Iker Muniain won’t play again until January due to a hamstring problem suffered a few weeks ago.
Despite the absences, Athletic have continued to play at a high level. The Lions were unbeaten in five straight games before losing to Real Betis over the weekend and are determined to rebound quickly in Saturday’s Basque Derby against Eibar. Gaizka Garitano will have to make do without Aduriz, De Marcos, Ganea, and Muniain though another name could possibly be added to the list.
Yuri Berchiche missed Thursday’s training session at Lezama for an undisclosed reason, leaving many to question whether or not he will be available for the game against his former club. The left-back has been working with an individualized plan over the past month following his dislocated shoulder and the belief is that Berchiche was given the day off, or at least allowed to just work in the indoor facilities, out of precaution.
The fact that Athletic have yet to issue a medical report supports the theory that Berchiche is just being rested, but if the 29-year-old doesn’t train on Friday concern will surely grow. With Ganea currently sidelined with an ankle injury Garitano called up Bilbao Athletic’s Jon Rojo to train with the first team in place of Berchiche.
Unlike yesterday, Gorka Guruzeta and Unai Vencedor did not train with the first team. There was belief that Vencedor could possibly be included in the squad for Saturday’s Derby, but it’s more likely that he will have the opportunity to make his debut in Tuesday’s Copa del Rey match against Intercity. On Thursday the pair trained under Joseba Etxeberria as Bilbao Athletic prepare for their game against Barakaldo which will take place on Saturday at Lezama.