Swansea City striker Fernando Llorente is set to miss the start of the new Premier League season as he continues his recovery from a cycling accident.
The 32-year-old Spain international sustained a broken arm while on holiday and Swans head coach Paul Clement is wary of rushing his charge back into action and risking a much longer lay-off than currently expected.
“I think it is unlikely he will be involved in the first couple of games, but his return will not be long after that.” Paul Clement
That means that Llorente will not feature on the opening weekend of the league season, with City heading to Southampton on Saturday 12th August.
Clement told Wales Online: “Fernando is rehabilitating individually – he has not joined the team training yet. Assuming all goes well, we anticipate that happening in the next ten days.
“I think it is unlikely he will be involved in the first couple of games, but his return will not be long after that.
“It was always going to be touch and go for the start of the season. The most important thing is that we get the arm right.
“You don’t want him to re-fracture it and then end up with Fernando needing surgery, because a six-week injury can then become a six-month injury.”
Llorente scored 15 goals in the Premier League last season as the Swans improved their form considerably following the arrival of Clement at the turn of the year.
They eventually finished in 15th place in the table, seven points clear of the relegation places.
With Bet365, City are 2/1 to be relegated this season and 2/5 to avoid the drop, while they are 17/4 to claim all three points against the Saints on the opening weekend of the campaign.