Bilbao wait on Amorebieta

Amorebieta closes on return

Amorebieta: Recovering

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Athletic Bilbao are hopeful defensive ace Fernando Amorebieta will soon return to the side.

The Venezuelan-born stopper, who has been called into the full Spain squad, has not played since September due to a thigh injury.

Bilbao have confirmed that he suffered a relapse during his absence but he is now on course to return soon.

"He had a relapse during the course of his rehabilitation and that has cost him a little, but he has worked for four or five days and we are cautiously optimistic," said Bilbao's medical chief Josean Lekue.

Amorebieta's defensive colleague Aitor Ocio is also progressing after suffering with tendinitis.

Meanwhile, midfielder Markel Susaeta is also set for a week out after going off injured against Villarreal at the weekend.

Susaeta suffered a blow to his left thigh, and Lekue is erring on the side of caution.

"He has a bad bruise on his left thigh and it is giving him a lot of pain, but we must be careful because sometimes this can lead to other things."

Lekue also confirmed that Ibai Gomez, who had surgery on his knee last weekend, would soon be able to begin his rehabilitation.