Koke ‘doubtful for the derby’ after hamstring injury

Canterano set to miss two weeks with blow sustained against Eibar

Koke has struggled for form in recent months

Koke has struggled for form in recent months

Koke will be out of action for a couple of weeks and could be in danger of missing the Madrid derby on October 4th after picking up a hamstring injury in Atlético’s win against Eibar on Saturday.

The young midfielder underwent an MRI scan this morning at the Cerro del Espino, which confirmed that he had suffered a grade I-II strain of the upper right thigh.

Normally, such an injury requires around 2 to 3 weeks recovery time, which would rule Koke out of Getafe at home on Tuesday, next weekend’s trip to Villarreal, the visit of Benfica in the Champions League and the derby in the Calderón, as well as possibly Spain’s upcoming international matches.

He suffered the same injury during the opening minutes of our 4-0 win against Real Madrid back in February, returning ahead of schedule 18 days later when Atleti went to Bayer Leverkusen.

On that occasion, Saúl Ñíguez stepped up to plate in a big way, and this could open the door for him again to deputise for his fellow canterano. We may also get to see Óliver Torres or Carrasco in the line-up as a result.

Not many realised that he was actually injured when going off last night, and the change proved a significant one as replacement Ángel Correa scored less than a minute after replacing the 23 year-old.

He could be another who gets a chance to shine now, as he went on to record an assist in a match-winning performance in Ipurúa.

Koke hasn’t shown his best form on a consistent basis before the injury earlier in the year, but fingers crossed he can work his way back to full fitness soon as he is still one of our most important players.

With the European Championships coming up in the summer he will be keen to return and start performing again, and we’re convinved that it will only be a matter of time.

Who should replace Koke whilst he’s out of the team? Are you worried at all by his recent form?

  • Parsa

    2015 hasn’t been a good year for Koke and he has faced a decline. I think he’s done with playing on the wings. Before pre season Cholo said Koke is going back to the double pivot role. But I think the reason he hasn’t gone yet is the importance of Gabi & Thiago in our team. Especially in the defensive phase. Koke is not as good as them in organizing the defense. He is more suited to a possession-based play. That’s a conflict for us right now. And I think the only reasonable solution for this in a long term is a complete switch to 4-3-3. That system will just fit everyone in. A trio midfield of Gabi/Thiago – Koke – Oliver will be scary because Oliver and Koke can both enjoy playing in the center. And this will help other players like Carasco, Correa and Vietto to play where they are best at. This has other benefits like be be able to apply more pressure high up the pitch and have a 4-5-1shape without the ball. I’m not sure if this will be our future style or not and I’m quite sure Simeone has thought about the idea. I’m seeing a transition to a more possession-based play and everyone knows a 4-3-3 is a much better system for this style. Who knows, Maybe in near future …

  • Might just be a blessing in disguise, actually. As pointed out in the article, his form hasn’t been the best and a “rest,” albeit unexpected and forced, might be what is needed to reignite him. I’m sure he’ll come back stronger. Come on and Aúpa Atleti!

  • Kris

    Get well soon, Koke. Very important player of the team.

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    Once again : it’s Tiago, without an H .
    I’m sorry, but if we keep adding an H to Tiago’s name, one of our most important players who has been with us since 2010 and who once was our vice captain, then we can not blame the people who keep adding also an H to “Atletico” !

    Away from spelling mistakes, I agree with most of your points, Koke fits more in the center, but Gabi & Tiago are much stronger than him defensively, and sometimes we need them both, but what I want to ask Simeone so badly is this :
    Do you really need both Gabi & Tiago against Las Palmas or Eibar, or tomorrow against Getafe ?!
    Like Kris said the other day : ” 4-3-3 with TWO defensive midfielders, and only one offensive minded mid, what are you expecting Simeone ? ”

    This is not the 4-3-3 I know, and even Koke is not very creative for me, he is not Arda or Oliver .
    And that what was worst for me, Oliver was on the bench, our most -and maybe only- creative midfielder, what’s the point of playing with Grizi, Vietto & Jackson if there is no one who can supply them ?! and didn’t the latters just play a poor game in Istanbul ?!!
    I strongly disagree with the people who liked the team in the first half vs Eibar, of course we dominated and had a couple of real chances, but it was Eibar, the team that lost 15 of their 19 games in the second round last season, the team that shouldn’t be in Primera this season and they’re only there thanks to Elche’s debt .
    FOR ME, OLIVER IS ONE OF THREE WHO MUST START EACH AND EVERY GAME, THE OTHER TWO ARE GRIZI AND OBLAK, all the rest including Koke, Godin & Juanfran can be rotated .

    As you said : Gabi or Tiago + Koke + Oliver, that’s a real 4-3-3 .
    And let me add that only one number 9 is enough, so the other 3 should be :
    Grizi + Correa/Carrasco + Jackson/Torres/Vietto (unless Vietto can be creative and good dribbler like Correa & Carrasco, but from what I’ve seen so far, he is not)
    If Simeone thinks it’s risky in some games I can understand that, his strong defense is what made all his success, and I don’t give a crap about what people and press say about our style, but when he decides to use the 4-3-3, I believe this how he should do it .

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    Speaking of Gabi’s defensive strength, he is currently leading the “Balls Recovered” table .
    Our captain is back .

  • AaX

    I am agreeing with your assessment. Very much similar with mine, 4-5-1 in defense to 4-3-3 when Attacking. FORZA Atleti !

  • AaX

    Costa Rica 2014 World Cup 4-5-1 formation and style might be compatible with Atletico’s.