Madrid (Spain) Oct 16: High-flying Real Sociedad have suffered a major setback with the news that striker and captain Mikel Oyarzabal will be sidelined for several weeks after suffering a torn hamstring in Friday's training session.
The news means that Oyarzabal will miss at least Saturday's La Liga game at home to Real Mallorca, where a draw would take his side top of the table, as well as Thursday's Europa League game against Sturm Graz and the following weekend's visit to play Atletico Madrid. It will also make him doubtful for league games against Celta Vigo and the Basque derby at home to Athletic Bilbao.
Oyarzabal joins a long injury list at the San Sebastian outfit, including Carlos Fernandez (who will miss nearly all of the season with a knee injury), Jon Guridi, winger Ander Barrenetxea and left-backs Diego Rico and Nacho Monreal.
"We have tried to control the efforts that he has made, but today his body said 'enough is enough'. We hope it isn't too serious," commented coach Imanol Alguacil.
Oyarzabal represented Spain in both the European Championships and Olympic Games this summer, and went into the new La Liga season with hardly any summer break, and this now appears to have taken its toll.
The forward's last game saw him score Spain's goal in their 2-1 defeat to France in the final of the UEFA Nations League.