Athletic Bilbao's Raul Garcia apologises to Joselu for injuring knee

Athletic Bilbao midfielder Raul Garcia has apologised to Deportivo La Coruna striker Joselu for a tackle that forced the player out of their La Liga game with a right knee injury.

Joselu, who was playing in his first game for Deportivo since joining the Galician club on loan from Stoke City on transfer deadline day, had to be replaced in the 24th minute of Sunday's 1-0 home defeat to Athletic, Depor's first loss of the campaign.

Garcia, who scored the only goal of the game, which gave Athletic their first win at Riazor in 10 years, told Cadena Ser: "I've apologised to Joselu. I spoke to Joselu right after the game and I told him it was an accident. I slipped and we had a hard collision.

"I hope it's nothing serious."

Garcia was booed by the Riazor crowd after the tackle on Joselu, a reaction that did not sit well with the former Atletico Madrid star, who would go on to celebrate his goal by putting his hand to his ear.

"I didn't appreciate the criticism after that tackle," he said. "That action wasn't intentional.

"I made a mistake when celebrating the goal and my reaction was not good but those that know me know why I got upset."

Deportivo confirmed that Joselu left the Riazor stadium on crutches and will undergo tests in the coming days to confirm the extent of his injury.

Garcia knows what that wait is like.

Earlier this year, he was sidelined for two months with knee ligament damage following a challenge from Sevilla striker Vitolo during a league game.

"I had a similar situation and I really appreciated that Vitolo spoke to me and inquired about my condition," Garcia said. "I will check on Joselu, it's the least I can do.

"It's an unfortunate episode.

"We are not machines, and this is not a situation that anyone likes to be in.

"When that happens to you, you are always pessimistic as you await the results. You never think positive, you always think the worst.

"I just hope it's nothing serious."

The 26-year-old Joselu made 22 Premier League appearances for Stoke last season before returning home to Spain this summer.

"It's a very bad night for us," Depor coach Gaizka Garitano said on the club website. "We didn't deserve to lose this game and we lost two important players due to injuries."

Depor also lost Brazilian central defender Sidnei to a muscular injury in Sunday's game.