Four weeks out for Etxeberria
By Mark Kendall. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
Athletic Bilbao midfielder Joseba Etxeberria has been ruled out for a month with a thigh injury.
The Spain international picked up the problem in last weekend's Basque derby against Real Sociedad which ended in a 3-3 draw.
He was forced from the pitch just before half time with the complaint, and tests have now revealed the full extent of the injury - a torn right thigh muscle.
"I did not really have any discomfort during the game, it just hit me all of a sudden and I realised I had torn it," he stated.
"It's never a good time to get injured, but these things happen in football.
"As I won't be able to help on the pitch, I intend to try and help encourage the group as it's important to be together at difficult times like these."
Bilbao currently sit second bottom of La Liga and the loss of Etxeberria will be a blow to their hopes of pulling clear of the relegation zone.
The Basque outfit are one of three teams never to have been relegated from the Spanish top flight, the others being Barcelona and Real Madrid.