Llorente back in Athletic squad

Fernando Llorente has been named in the Athletic Bilbao squad for Sunday's trip to Espanyol in La Liga.

Athletic Coach Marcelo Bielsa said on Saturday that Llorente ‘seems physically ready and is very keen to play’ after including the Spain striker in a squad for a League game for the first time this season.

Llorente played in the Europa League qualifier against Slaven Belupo but then fell out of favour after announcing his desire to quit San Mames with a year remaining on his contract. The player has also been recovering his fitness after a recent hamstring injury.

Bielsa added that Llorente will start the game on the bench, however, with Aritz Aduriz set to lead the line at Cornella-El Prat.

Fernando Amorebieta also returns to the squad and should replace Borja Ekiza in the heart of the defence. However, both Ander Herrera, who is recovering from a groin operation, and Jon Aurtenetxe are absent for the Basque outfit.

Athletic have lost on each of their last six visits to Espanyol, and have not beaten the Catalans on their own turf since 1998.

Athletic Bilbao squad to play Espanyol: Iraizoz, Toquero, Amorebieta, San Jose, Iturraspe, Llorente, De Marcos, Ibai Gomez, Raul, Susaeta, Iraola, Isma Lopez, Inigo Perez, Gurpegi, Muniain, Aduriz, Castillo, Ekiza, Ruiz de Galarreta

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