Spain’s Olympic football hopes have been hit in the last few days due to injuries which will rule out two of their star players. Mikel San Jose has joined Thiago Alcantara on the flight home from the base in Las Rozas as coach Luis Milla prepares to trim his 22 man squad to 18 in the coming days.
Athletic Bilbao centre-back San Jose has contracted chicken pox and was forced to leave the training camp urgently to avoid spreading the disease on Monday whilst Thiago is still recovering from a tibia injury.
Barcelona released a statement on Thursday confirming Thiago’s absence.
“Tests were conducted today to assess the state of Thiago Alcantara’s tibia injury. The results confirm that the injury has not been overcome and that the player will have to continue his recovery process in the coming weeks, therefore he will not receive the medical all-clear before the Olympics in London.”
Bilbao have yet to release a statement regarding the condition of San Jose as he begins treatment for his illness. Jorge Guillen, the Spanish team doctor, advised the centre-back to leave the training camp and isolate himself so to reduce the risk of spreading the disease.
San Jose featured in 39 of Athletic’s games last season during their runs to two finals whilst Thiago, son of Brazilian 1994 FIFA World Cup winner Mazinho, appeared in 45 games for Barca last season as well gaining as 2 caps for the full Spanish squad.
Luis Milla is allowed to call up replacements for the two players before having to trim his squad prior to the tournament opener against Japan on July 26th at Hampden Park. The coach will surely want to experiment with his likely starting XI during warm up games against Senegal and Mexico which are coming up in the next few days.
These two additions may ultimately end up in the same 18 man squad as European Champions Javi Martinez, Juan Mata and Barcelona new boy Jordi Alba.