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Atlético injury update: Concern over de Paul, Giménez is back, Koke uncertain for Mestalla

Plus, where are Memphis and Samuel Lino in their recoveries?

Argentina v Ecuador - FIFA World Cup 2026 Qualifier Photo by Daniel Jayo/Getty Images

It is September 13 and already I have been compelled to do the first Atlético Madrid injury update article of the season. They couldn't even give me until, like, December this year. Or even November! I would have accepted that!

Ah, well, nevertheless...

Let’s start with the good news. The international break has allowed two Diego Simeone stalwarts the chance to recover just about fully from injuries that have cost them virtually the entire (read: three games) 2023/24 season so far.

José Giménez finally returned to training on Monday after a tibia injury kept him out of all preseason and early-season action — he is expected to be available for selection this Saturday when Atlético travel to Valencia. Club captain Koke is also in the final stages of recovery from a hamstring strain suffered five minutes into matchday one, although his status for Mestalla is not as clear. According to Marca, it is more likely Koke will receive a few minutes Tuesday night in Rome against Lazio before starting the derby against Real Madrid in 11 days’ time.

Reinildo Mandava is not yet training with the group, but he is said to be making steady progress toward a return from the cruciate ligament injury he suffered the last time Atlético faced its city rivals. The Mozambican will return before January, but then he will be off again to take part in the African Cup of Nations, which runs from Jan. 13 to Feb. 11.

Now for the not-as-good news. There is concern at Atlético surrounding Rodrigo de Paul, who will return from international duty with Argentina carrying an injury that the medical team has yet to evaluate fully. The first impressions of de Paul’s physical state are “not promising,” and it seems just about impossible that the World Cup-winning midfielder will travel this weekend to face his old team.

Samuel Lino exited early from Tuesday’s session with muscular discomfort. He trained away from the group Wednesday along with Memphis Depay, who is still rehabilitating the hamstring strain he picked up during the 7-0 win at Rayo Vallecano over two weeks ago.

Memphis could still return for the Madrid Derby on Sept. 24, but his inability to maintain fitness for more than three games at a time has to be immensely concerning for Simeone.