Sufficient Squad Members to Recover.- Zelarayán

SAN NICOLÁS DE LOS GARZA, July 30th.- Even though injuries have been Tigres’ main rival at the start of the Apertura 2019 tournament, Lucas Zelarayán made it quite clear that there are sufficient squad members to respond to and recover from the number of unavailable players.

The Argentine midfielder recalled that there were injured players last season as well. In fact, even though he and André-Pierre Gignac missed several matches, the team lifted the trophy at the end of the competition.

“We have an extraordinary and large squad. Right now we’re going through a bad patch regarding injuries. Last season, I was injured along with several teammates, including André, but even so we lifted the trophy in the end.

“I don’t think it’s anything to worry about. It’s unpleasant and doesn’t look good when several players are unavailable, but we have sufficient squad members to fight and do our best. I’m trying to recover and hopefully the others will be ready quickly to be at the disposal of our manager,” claimed the famous Chino.

During the pre-season phase, Francisco Meza and Julián Quiñones both had surgery, with a prognosis of eight months until they can play again. After the first matchday, Lucas Zelarayán and Jesús Dueñas, as well as Eduardo Tercero and Javier Aquino were all injured.

For the game against Pumas, the attacking midfielder hopes to be at the manager’s disposal, and for now he is joining in the group physical exercises, but not football practice. 

“(I’m doing) well. Luckily, I was able to work with Memo (the coach) today, with some lighter exercises. My muscles responded well and tomorrow I’ll increase the intensity, looking to being 100% by the weekend.”

A shame about his injury…

“It is a shame, I’d been feeling so well physically, fine in the pre-season. It was bad luck, knocks and sprains happen all the time, they’re part of football, but it wasn’t very serious, so I’m hoping to be ready for Sunday.”

Hopes to play against Pumas…

“It’s a shame, a bad patch with several injured players. It’s always good to have availability and for all the team members to be fit. I’m just getting over this injury and hope to play against Pumas, which will be a difficult game and I’d like to be there.” 

Support for Salcedo after being sent off…

“It was an unfortunate play that ended in Carlos (Salcedo) being sent off. It’s a shame, especially added on to the series of injured players, starting with Meza. The ones of us who are left will give our all as always and let’s hope the other players will have recovered to support the team and be ready for the manager. We all support Carlos and each other.”

Has the Salcedo issue, about which there has been some criticism, affected the team?

“It hasn’t had an effect on the group; we’re aware that these plays happen. Players are sometimes sent off in football and Carlos is our teammate. We’re happy with him and support him as we would with anyone else. We try not to let these things affect this championship-winning group.”

A difficult pitch at Pumas…

“It can be difficult, with the time and altitude. It’s tough for us, but we’ve been training for it and had a great pre-season, so we’ll try not to let it affect us. We’ll be going there with the objective of winning.

“Maintaining possession is always best, so the ball moves around instead of us, so we don’t feel the altitude and midday heat so much. Let’s hope we’ll be fine, have the ball and control the game, which is the basis for a good result.”

Rumor that Argentina wants Gignac …

“Well, you will have to ask André about that. I’ve never had anything to do with Boca (Juniors), so I can’t say how it affects us. We all know that André is very important. He’s an icon and we’d like to have him as a teammate forever. Whatever is going to happen will be a matter between the clubs and the directors.

“He’s here and it’s something only he can decide. For everyone around him, the fans, the players, he’s very important, but I really can’t say what will happen tomorrow.”