Fully Healthy Athletic Squad Ready To Return To Training
In just a few days the Athletic first team will return to training at Lezama after nearly two months of isolation. The players will undergo both PCR and Antibody testing for Covid-19 on Thursday and, once the results are available after 48 hours, those who are cleared will be allowed to train individually at the facility. Approximately 60 players and staff members will take part in the testing.
Aside from the first team squad, a few tests have been set aside for reserve players who could be called up during the remainder of the season. This will include Oihan Sancet, Jokin Ezkieta, Dani Vivian, Gorka Guruzeta, and Hodei Oleaga who has been recalled from loan.
Players could be cleared to train at Lezama as early as Saturday, although some sources have suggested that sessions won’t begin until Monday. Either way, the squad will return fully healthy. It’s always possible that someone could test positive, and physical conditioning will be a major concern, but from an injury standpoint there shouldn’t be any issues.
Before the season was stopped only three Athletic players were dealing with injury issues. Oscar De Marcos had undergone ankle surgery in December, Asier Villalibre was recovering from a fractured vertebrae, and Beñat was nursing a sprained ankle.
Villalibre had just returned to training before the stoppage, albeit not fully, and De Marcos was about to do the same. Beñat’s ankle injury wasn’t serious and the midfielder was expected to be back in the group quickly. Barring any surprises, all three will be ready to resume training and get back on the field.
On the other hand, the time off was beneficial for many others as well. Several players were dealing with minor muscle issues as a result of heavy minutes while Yuri Berchiche and Aritz Aduriz were managing shoulder and hip pain respectively and will continue to do so. With the season expected to resume in June and finish by early August, having a fully healthy squad will be extremely important as the Zurigorri look to climb the table and secure a top seven finish to qualify for Europe.