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LIGA MX

Chivas suffer Erick Gutiérrez blow

As if things couldn’t get much worse for Guadalajara, the team were dealt another blow by losing a key player just as they are struggling to get results.

Update:
As if things couldn’t get much worse for Guadalajara, the team were dealt another blow by losing a key player just as they are struggling to get results.
Carlos Zepeda

Dark days for Chivas in terms of the team’s recent results and they’ve just been dealt a new setback. Star summer recruit Erick Gutiérrez is set for a while on the sidelines after picking up an injury. On Thursday evening, the club’s medical department confirmed that the player is suffering plantar fasciitis - affecting the heel of his left foot, which is why he was unable to finish Tuesday’s game against Mazatlán.

“Update from Guadalajara Sports Science department concerning Erick Gutiérrez, who fell injured during Tuesday’s game against Mazatlán, corresponding to Week 11 of the Apertura 2023. Gutiérrez is suffering a partial rupture of the left plantar fascia. He will begin his recovery process as soon as possible. His return to the field of play will depend on how the injury evolves,” a brief club medical report read.

While Guadalajara have not stated how long Guti is expected to be out for, other cases of players who have suffered plantar fascia issues have generally spent a while on the sidelines. For now, he is ruled out of Sunday’s game against Toluca. Midfielder Rubén González is expected to take his place in the starting line-up.

Difficult start

Gutiérrez struggled to adapt to life at Chivas - he joined at the start of July, without having taken part in the pre-season and with the new campaign already underway. He made his first appearances for the club against Cincinatti and Sporting Kansas City in the Leagues Cup, where it was apparent that he lacked fitness and rhythm. Despite that, coach Veljko Paunovic included him in his starting XI in all seven of the Liga MX games he has played so far, obliging the rest of the team to adapt to the midfielder’s style of play.

Guti’s absence will be an opportunity to revert back to the midfield set-up that worked well in the last tournament, in which Guadalajara reached the final. With Oso González in contention for a place, the team could return to playing with two wingers: El Pocho Guzmán and Fernando Beltrán.

After three games without a win, the Rebaño Sagrado are in need of some positive results. The team has lost or drawn six out the 10 games played so far in the Apertura 2023 and the humiliating 4-0 defeat to América angered fans, whose fury reached new heights following Tuesday’s 3-1 loss to Mazatlán, one of the teams with the worst figures in the league. The team is currently seventh on 14 points, five points behind leaders Atlético San Luis, who have played a game less.

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