Marcos Ayerza's lack of fitness is problem for Leicester Tigers
Marco Ayerza has landed Leicester Tigers in a "nightmare" situation.
The 29-year-old prop returned to the club last week having been on international duty with Argentina since June.
But being the Pumas' second-choice loose-head, Ayerza has been restricted to a handful of appearances from the bench.
He returned to Leicester with little game-time under his belt and, while Tigers director of rugby Richard Cockerill knows he has to ease him back into things, he is also aware that Ayerza will return to the Pumas squad for the autumn internationals next month.
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Argentina are due to play Wales, France and Ireland.
"Marcos has played 80 minutes of rugby in four months," said Cockerill. "He has been away with Argentina, he hasn't been picked and hasn't played a game.
"Now we are now in the middle of October and he still hasn't started a game. Because of that, he can't go straight into the starting line-up. It's a nightmare for us.
"We need him fit but he isn't fit, because he hasn't played. That's the problem, especially as a front-rower, because you have to put the work in.
"We have to get Marcos back into our system, but slowly.
"Then, in three weeks, he's going off to play for Argentina again. The whole thing is very hard to manage but we just have to do the best we can."
He will be on the bench for the second week running tomorrow.
Ayerza, looking ahead to the game, said: "It's going to be a huge battle and Welford Road is the place to be this weekend.
"It is going to be one of the typically massive games between our two clubs. Every meeting has been the same and this is not going to be any different," he added.