Williams, Núñez, Córdoba, And Unai López Cleared To Start Training
From the very first day of preseason training Athletic were without six first team players. Iñaki Williams, Unai Núñez, Iñigo Córdoba, Unai López, Oihan Sancet, and Gaizka Larrazabal all tested positive for COVID-19 during the initial screening and have been self-isolating at home ever since. Each player would have to wait 10 days before undergoing more tests and would need to pass two tests in 72 hours to be cleared to join their teammates at Lezama.
The days have passed by quickly and with La Liga set to start in three weeks the players have been hoping to return as soon as possible. Finally, there was some good news on Friday when Athletic announced Williams, Núñez, Córdoba, and López were all cleared to report to Lezama and even trained individually at the facilities.
For now the most important thing is for the players to catch up to their teammates. Since testing positive they have been working at home to stay in shape but will now be in a race for full fitness before the season kicks off. Having just been cleared to train, none of the four will take part in Saturday’s friendly match against Logroñés.
All four players who were cleared passed tests on Monday and Thursday, but the club explained that Oihan Sancet and Gaizka Larrazabal are still waiting for another test. The expectation is that Sancet and Larrazabal passed their first test on Thursday and will need to do so again Sunday to get the green light to join the squad.
In other news, Iñigo Martínez took another step towards a full return by completing most of Thursday’s morning session at Lezama. The defender has been recovering from a hip injury. Mikel Vesga is also in the final stages of his recovery from a muscle injury while Peru Nolaskoain was cleared to start running after dealing with an ankle sprain. The three will miss Saturday’s game at Las Gaunas.