Mikel Balenziaga Leaves Training With Foot Injury, Unai Vencedor Continues With The First Team
After a much-needed day of rest the Athletic players were back in training at Lezama on Wednesday to continue preparing for the upcoming match against Villarreal. On Sunday, the Yellow Submarine will visit San Mamés where Athletic hope to finally put an end to the ten-game winless streak in La Liga. However, the Lions will also have one eye on the Copa del Rey semifinal second leg which will take place just four days later.
During Wednesday’s training session Mikel Balenziaga was forced to leave early following a collision with Mikel San José. The left-back suffered a blow to his left foot and the medical staff made the decision to take Balenziaga inside the facility for further treatment. At this point, Balenziaga’s availability for Sunday’s match is unknown.
Aritz Aduriz was absent from the session entirely as the striker is following a specific plan to minimize the strain on his body and avoid further injury to his hip. Meanwhile, a number of players from Bilbao Athletic joined the first team, namely Unai Vencedor who could be in the squad this weekend. Gorka Guruzeta, Dani Vivian, Javier Murua, Antonio Salado, Jokin Ezkieta, and Ander Iru all worked under Gaizka Garitano’s orders on some level.
Although Athletic are desperate to put an end to the winless streak in La Liga this weekend, Thursday’s Cup semifinal against Granada is a much bigger game. The Lions have a 1-0 lead after the first leg at San Mamés and it’s very likely that Gaizka Garitano will rest a few key players against Villarreal to put the team in the best shape to eliminate Granada later in the week.