Athletic Club had to get back into preseason mode when they hosted Reus on Saturday in a friendly match. The Lions were without most of the players who had featured against Dinamo Bucuresti on Thursday, but were still able to cruise to a comfortable 3-0 victory thanks to goals from Mikel San Jose, Ager Aketxe, and Iñaki Williams. However, it wasn’t all good news for Athletic who suffered yet another injury.
After only a few minutes of play, Ander Iturraspe deflected a shot from Reus by stretching out his left leg. That block may have actually prevented a goal, but the midfielder immediately grabbed his leg in pain. He asked for a change and was substituted for Mikel Rico.
He was able to walk off the pitch on his own which was a good sign that it wasn’t anything serious. After the game, Athletic Club announced that Iturraspe had suffered a muscular injury in his left thigh and that he would undergo further testing to find out the extent of the problem. The knock comes at a difficult time for Iturraspe who already had to miss Thursday’s Europa League match against Dinamo due to suspension. He was expected to be in the squad for this week’s game at the San Mames but that now looks very unlikely.
Iturraspe is the fourth player to pick up an injury this preseason. Aymeric Laporte and Sabin Merino also had leg muscle knocks that saw them miss a few days of action, and Inigo Lekue was also out for a bit although his specific problem was never revealed to the public. If it is simply a muscular strain then Iturraspe shouldn’t be out for very long. It will be surprising if he is able to play on Thursday, but his absence shouldn’t last much longer than that time frame. If the injury is more serious Athletic will release more information.