Tiko blow for Bilbao

Loading Market ...

Football Betting

Up To £30 Free Matched Bet

ATHLETIC BILBAO have been hit by the news that midfielder Tiko will be out for a month after picking up an injury in a friendly against Bolton Wanderers.

Bilbao won the game 1-0, but the loss of Tiko is a major problem as the Basque side go into the start of the new Spanish season, which begins on September 1.

Tiko was taken off after just four minutes of the encounter and doctors have revealed that he has a strained thigh.

Having come to prominence last season, coach Jupp Heynckes was expected to rely upon Tiko as one of the focal points of his team.

The 26-year-old has a reputation for his direct approach to the game and especially his powerful shots.

Speaking about his injury, Tiko said: "It is important because it breaks the plans of your pre-season work, but it it necessary to get over that with patience.

"These injuries must be solved perfectly if you do not want to go down again in a few days."

It is an important year for Tiko, given that his contract with Bilbao runs out in June 2003.