Piqué squeezes to be a starter: the knee infiltrates for the second time

Gerard Piqué will play undercover in this Saturday's Cup final against Athletic Bilbao. As AS announced on Thursday exclusively, the Catalan center-back was willing to undergo a new infiltration of his right knee to reach the Cup match in condition. It would be the second time you undergo this treatment in a week: Last Friday he already got a shot to play against Real Madrid, but in the end Koeman decided to leave him on the bench for the whole game.

A week later, the center-back found himself in the same position, albeit with more training sessions and workloads behind him. The problem was that the pain did not disappear and that prevented him from exercising with good sensations. Hence, he agreed, with the technicians and doctors, to “puncture” his knee again, with the aim of helping the team in the Cup final.

So, tonight, after dinner, the doctor of the first team, Lluis Til, has subjected the central to a new treatment of punctures with cortisone and analgesic to be available for the match against Athletic.

Koeman, who acknowledged that Piqué came too close to the Classic, has now opened the doors wide to the final. But the coach is aware, despite the fact that he did not want to reveal it at the press conference, that the central defender does not reach one hundred percent.

Even if, In the session this Friday, the player completed the training with better sensations (residual pain persists, but very bearable), it was decided to infiltrate him to ensure that the knee is asymptomatic throughout the game. It will be this Saturday in the morning activation session at the Betis Sports City when Piqué can assess if the infiltration is taking its effect and if it can offer all the guarantees to play the final.

Koeman, apart from the intrinsic risk of admitting an undercover player, will also have to assess his physical condition, taking into account that he has not played a game for almost a month and a half, and that he has only played five in the last four months. Although it is also true that the presence of Piqué in the eleven guarantees experience, leadership skills and a clean exit of the ball from behind.

Thus, the Dutch coach will have to assess the pros and cons of the inclusion of Piqué in the eleven, with the possibility of returning to the drawing of four defenders as a solution to the last misalignments in the rear or keeping the three centrals behind, how good performance did he give the team before the national team break?