Yeray is currently undergoing chemotherapy treatments to battle his relapse of testicular cancer. According to Doctor Josean Lekue and several of his teammates, the defender is doing very well and has been in a great mood. Several times he has posted videos or pictures to social media that show him running or training inside the workout facility at Lezama, but on Monday fans got even better news when Yeray took his first steps on the outside training pitch since his relapse was diagnosed.
The 22-year-old spent about half an hour outside in total but it was long enough to get everyone excited. He mainly jogged and ran with training Xabier Clemente, but he did touch the ball a little bit. Yeray has been adamant about staying in the best shape possible so that he can make a quick return when he is released to begin regular training in mid-September.
Right now Kuko Ziganda has the task of finding Yeray’s replacement for the upcoming Europa League clash with Dinamo Bucuresti on Thursday. Aymeric Laporte will definitely start on the left and the manager has tried every single combination alongside the Frenchman. Despite playing heavy minutes with Unai Nunez, it is unlikely that the 20-year-old will be trusted on such a big stage. Eneko Boveda and Xabi Etxeita could fill in, but so could Mikel San Jose who has only played as a center-back this summer. The pairing would certainly be unique.
The rest of the lineup for Thursday’s match seems straight-forward. Iago Herrerin will be the goalkeepers and the fullbacks will be Oscar De Marcos and Mikel Balenziaga. Beñat and Mikel Vesga are expected to continue their partnership in midfield with Raúl Garcia playing in front of them. Lastly, Iker Muniain and Aritz Aduriz will retain their regular roles. Iñaki Williams will not travel with the team so Markel Susaeta is expected to start at right-wing, but Sabin Merino is in the mix as well. The Lions need to get a good result to take back to the San Mames if they want to advance to the next round of the Europa League.