Asegarce have petitioned LEP.M, who run the Pairs Championship, for an official ‘temporary exclusion’ against Patxi Ruiz. The defender, who began the competition as the partner of Asier Olaizola, is currently on the sidelines due to injury. However, his claims are said to contradict medical diagnosis. Ruiz, who hails from Estella, played an impressive match in Getaria on 15th January but subsequently complained of pain in his left buttock. Medical staff claimed however, that the alleged injury was ‘asymptomatic’ and that the player could not be in significant discomfort. Despite this, Ruiz was seen to stretch throughout his next match in Tolosa, in which he struggled to maintain an acceptable level, and continued to complain of pain in the aftermath. He was replaced by Alexis Apraiz for the match on Monday 1st February. Asegarce now want assurances that he is able to get through a match without complaint before they will allow him back into the tournament. They will assess the situation week by week and it is possible that he may return, but Apraiz will remain for the foreseeable future.
The situation is a controversial one. Patxi Ruiz, for his part, is adamant of the veracity of his injuries and has defended himself publically on Radio Euskadi, declaring ‘only I know how my back hurts and what my injuries are’. There is a sense, however, that his empresa have run out of patience, with one official even alluding to the boy who cried wolf. It is claimed that his repeated absences from the fronton are having a destabilising effect on those around him. It is not the first time that such a situation has arisen; Ruiz complained of muscle discomfort on the eve of the BBK Masters tournament in December and had to be replaced at short notice by Asier Olaizola, it is claimed, to the detriment of the empresa. It remains to be seen how this story will play out but some believe that unless he changes his ‘course of action’, he will not return to the championship.
Image from: Diario de Navarra