MADRID – Atletico Madrid’s Argentine head coach Diego Simeone said on Friday his Spanish forward Diego Costa was eager to take part in their upcoming La Liga face-off against Athletic Bilbao.
Costa, who has yet to receive medical clearance, rejoined the team practice on Friday after having recovered from a muscle injury.
“Diego wants to be (in the game). Probably now when I finish the press conference, I will speak with him for a while and we will see how is feeling (and) I will share my perspective with him and then we will decide whether he will be among 18 (players) who are going to be there on the ground,” Simeone said at a press conference on the eve of Saturday’s game.
Injuries have hit Atletico hard as Los Rojiblancos’ defenders Jose Maria Gimenez, Lucas Hernandez and Stefan Savic remain on the sideline as well as the team’s midfielders Koke Resurreccion and Thomas Lemar.
Missing three out of his four center-backs over injuries, Simoene now has to figure out who is going to accompany Diego Godin in the central defense with Javier Montero, an Atletico B-team player who had previously played with the first team, and Saul Ñiguez being the alternative.
“There is the possibility that Montero could repeat, the other day he did a very good job, or that we play with Saul as a central defender, as he has already done it before,” Simeone said. “I am convinced that whoever I chose will do a good job.”