Atletico Madrid had a torrid season in terms of injuries last year and Diego Simeone and company hope nothing similar happens to them this year.
Perhaps the most painful of all was Joao Felix. The Portuguese finally seemed to find consistency in Simeone’s plan during March. Not only was Felix playing well, but he also netted six goals and two assists in the space of six league games at one point.
Still, a muscle injury ruled him out for the last month of the season and halted all that progress. Among the issues in finding the right role for Felix, injuries have so far prevented the 22-year-old from having a major impact at Atleti.
According to Sport, Felix is currently missing the start of Professor Oscar Ortega’s fitness program in pre-season. Receiving a kick before arriving in Soria, he has so far missed all three sessions of their pre-season camp and will gradually enter the dynamic of the team.
The same goes for Brazilian defender Felipe. The centre-back, 33, struggles to hit match speed in the same way as his colleagues and as a result follows his own fitness plan. He too will gradually get involved in platoon exercises.
While this move from Felix isn’t bad, it will still worry Atleti fans. Going into the season at peak fitness can help Felix get back to the form he showed before the injury and anything that hinders his fitness will have fans concerned that another similar story could unfold next season.