The striker has appeared in the Basque Country’s last 74 League games, reflective of his central status in recent seasons at the club. Before being pulled off at half-time during the weekend’s 1-1 draw away to Valencia, Llorente was also Marcelo Bielsa’s most-used outfield player this season.
However, the player’s run of games is under serious threat because of the reason he was substituted at Mestalla. Complaining of pain in his left knee, it was on Llorente’s request that he was withdrawn at the weekend.
The striker has been struggling with tendinitis and has been advised after the Valencia game to rest until Wednesday or Thursday morning before returning to training. With Athletic in action on Thursday evening, it puts the 26-year-old’s involvement against Atletico Madrid in doubt.
Only two players hold a better run of appearances in Athletic Bilbao’s history. Both achieved during 1984, right-sided full-back Santi Urkiaga played 84 consecutive games for the club whilst goalkeeper Andoni Zubizarreta managed 103 matches in a row for the team.