Sevilla captain Jesús Navas is pushing himself to the edge amidst a gruelling schedule.
The full-back had to withdraw from Saturday’s 1-0 victory over Osasuna at half-time after injuring his groin ten minutes before the break as explained by Alberto Fernández in Marca.
Navas has pushed himself to the limit and beyond since LaLiga returned after the COVID-19 lockdown, and is finally beginning to show the strain of a tight schedule and the absence of a genuine back-up in the right-back position.
Jesús Navas ha parado tras competir 45 semanas (con confinamiento de por medio), sin vacaciones en verano y con una semana en Navidad. El #SevillaFC tampoco le ha ayudado al no buscarle un relevo real.https://t.co/Nu0fT2Dc8C
— Alberto Fernández (@Albertoflorenzo) November 9, 2020
Navas has had to pull out of the Spain squad ahead of the forthcoming international break, with the 34 year-old – he turns 35 in two weeks – due to play an important role for Luis Enrique in the Nations League clashes against Switzerland and Germany.
“Navas began Julen Lopetegui’s spell as coach as a starter in the Basque’s debut against Espanyol on August 18th, 2019,” wrote Fernandez. “Between the commitments of his club and Spain he spent 19 consecutive weeks competing.”
— Sevilla Fútbol Club (@SevillaFC) November 7, 2020
Then, after the Christmas break, he played 14 games in ten weeks until the pandemic stopped all football. After that forced respite of 13 weeks, he returned to a shortened and intensified calendar, playing eleven matches in six weeks before the Europa League mini-tournament in Germany.
The Andalusian then joined preseason again to compete from September 24th onwards, playing 13 games in the ensuing seven weeks. It should come as no surprise that his body has broken down. “The explanation is simple,” wrote Fernández. “Without a rest, and with no holidays, his body has ran out of gas.”
Featured image courtesy of Squawka.