The injury bug struck Atlético early this year as starting right-back Juanfran is expected to miss up to three weeks following a right knee sprain suffered while playing a friendly with the Spanish national team in Puerto Rico on Wednesday.
The 27-year-old began the day with good news having been handed a rare start with La Roja by Vicente del Bosque, but he sustained what national team doctors are calling an injury to his LCL just 18 minutes into the encounter against the island side and was forced to come off.
The knock will keep the winger-turned-full-back from appearing in our La Liga opener late Sunday night, and he is likely to miss the UEFA Super Cup final against Chelsea on the 31st of August.
The former Osasuna man will undergo tests when he gets back to Madrid on Thursday in order to determine the severity of injury.
This opens the door for Sílvio to return to the starting line-up. Juanfran stepped in for the Portuguese defender last season given his months-long injury lay-offs–first because of a nagging groin issue and later because of a knee problem.
The next couple of weeks will be a huge test for Sílvio. The former Braga full-back will be under the scrutiny of both fans and club officials who will be eager to determine if their man can stay healthy for back-to-back games.
In other injury news, striker Adrián, who is set to appear as the starting right-winger at Levante, sprained his ankle in practice Wednesday morning, though the injury appears to be minor and it seems like he will be fit for action this weekend.
“I have a minor sprain I suffered this morning but I hope to feel a lot better tomorrow,” the Asturian tweeted when he got home Wednesday evening.
Our remaining six internationals will return to Spain unscathed.
Goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois started in Belgium’s 4-2 victory over the Netherlands in Brussels, winger Cristian ‘Cebolla’ Rodríguez and centre-back Diego Godín played the full 90 minutes of Uruguay’s 0-0 tie against France, midfielders Arda and Emre took part in Turkey’s 2-0 loss to Austria and Falcao played the first half of the Colombian national team’s closed-door exhibition against Atlético B, which ended in a 0-0 tie.