Atletico Madrid suffered a torrid season in terms of injuries last year and Diego Simeone and company will be hoping nothing similar befalls them this year.
Perhaps the most painful of all was Joao Felix. The Portuguese finally looked as if he was finding consistency within Simeone’s plan during the month of March. Not only was Felix playing well, he also notched six goals and two assists in the space of six league games at one stage.
Yet a muscle injury ruled him out for the final month of the season and stopped all of that progress. Amongst issues finding the right role for Felix, injuries have robbed the 22-year-old of making a major impact for Atleti so far.
As per Sport, Felix is currently missing the beginning of Profe Oscar Ortega’s fitness programme in preseason. Picking up a knock to the foot before arriving in Soria, he has so far sat out the three sessions at their preseason camp and will enter the squad dynamics gradually.
The same is true for Brazilian defender Felipe. The central defender, 33, struggles to get up to match-speed in the same way his colleagues do and as a result is following his own fitness plan. He too will become gradually involved in the squad exercises.
While this Felix knock isn’t a bad one, it will worry Atleti fans all the same. Entering the season at peak fitness may help Felix to recover the form he showed before the injury and anything which impedes his fitness will concern fans that another similar story could play out next season.