According to reports from Mundo Deportivo, Gerard Pique has been advised to rest by the club doctors ahead of the second league game of the season.
The World Cup winning centre-back started in the Catalan backline against Real Sociedad during the season opener on Sunday. Pique played the complete 90 minutes on the night, though his partner Eric Garcia was substituted for Ronald Araujo late in the second period.
However, the Spanish veteran reportedly picked up a muscular discomfort in his calf during the game against La Real. The medical staff have asked Pique to take a brief hiatus to speed his recovery.
The No.3 however is reluctant to do so and wants to start the game against Athletic Bilbao despite the injury. He has continued to train with the team during the week too and looks likely to make the squad list.
The final decision lies with Ronald Koeman, however, he could well choose to opt for Pique’s experience against a tricky opposition at San Mames.
Nevertheless, the manager does have options at his disposal if the No,3 cannot start. Eric Garcia directly walked into the first lineup of the season, clearly indicating that Koeman values him a lot.
Ronald Araujo, Clement Lenglet, and Samuel Umtiti are also options, though Umtiti could well not be called up once again. Oscar Mingueza is likely to be given the medical all-clear ahead of the trip away from home and would be a valuable reinforcement.
Given his age, however, it would be wise for Pique to take a short break and focus on his recovery. It remains to be seen what decision Koeman will take.
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