Fernando Llorente has posted a brief message to Athletic Bilbao fans ahead of his return to action in front of them tonight.

After an extended absence this summer from first team affairs after refusing to sign a new contract and the subject of intense transfer speculation, the player is now being slowly reintegrated into matters.

He returned last weekend from the bench to score a goal in the Basques’ 3-3 draw at Espanyol and is now set for a reunion with his home crowd today.

Coach Marcelo Bielsa has confirmed the intention to again use him as a substitute in the first Europa League group stage match tonight against Ironi Kiryat Shmona, and ahead of that, the player has returned to Facebook to talk to supporters.

“Hello everyone! First of all, excuse me for the time that I have been disconnected [from the social networking site], it has been an intense summer, thanks for being there, really,” began the posting this evening.

“Today we have an important game, after the last game I have wanted to return to San Mames and to get a win today, we will give everything! Go Athletic!”

Llorente’s teammates Ander Iturraspe and Oscar De Marcos both suggested this week that they anticipate a positive reception for the striker from the San Mames crowd.

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