It is difficult being a Barcelona fan and this is not because of the results. The club and its fans have been waiting for a full-strength Barcelona XI but sadly, it has not been possible.
The duo of Pedri and Ansu Fati were almost out for the entire duration of November and December last year and it was only recently, in the El Classico that they made their return.
In Barcelona’s RO16 clash against Atheltic Club in the Copa Del Rey, the match was forced into extra-time with the Blaugrana levelling twice with Bilbao. With that said, many eyes were on Ansu Fati and Pedri, who would be playing their second game post-comeback.
Ansu Fati exits in tears
While Ansu Fati was introduced as a sub in the 61st minute, he had a fairly quiet game but was expected to play a key role in the extra time. However, in the 95th minute of the first half of extra time, Fati was tracking back but injured his hamstring in the process. It is understood that this is a relapse of his recently treated injury and the speculation is that the 19-year-old could be out for 4-6 weeks.
While the only positive was that the player was able to walk off the pitch, he was seen tearing up as this is his second injury in as many months and has already missed 15 games in the La Liga this season, owing to injury. Having said that, the talented winger was out for almost the entire duration of the last year due to knee problems.
As he was headed towards the players’ tunnel, Xavi could be seen embracing him.
Ansu Fati heads down the tunnel with an injury. pic.twitter.com/yhJ4yokXT2
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) January 20, 2022
Barcelona will be hoping that the injury (left biceps femoris) is not serious and the player returns to action soon.
“Tomorrow we will see [about the extent of the injury],” Xavi told reporters. “He has been affected, but tomorrow we will see the diagnosis.”
Pedri picks up a knock and requests a substitution
Pedri soon followed Fati as he was seen holding his thigh as well. He gestured to the bench-side indicating that it was time for him to come off the pitch as well. Consequently, Martin Braithwaite replaced him for the second-half of the extra-time.
Pedri scored the second equalizer in the game in the dying embers of the first 90 minutes. Having said that, it was also the first goal of the season for the midfielder, and manager Xavi disclosed that Pedri’s injury is not serious and the Spaniard is likely to be back sooner than Fati.
“Pedri doesn’t seem to be anything serious, we will see with Ansu after tests tomorrow” said Xavi when asked about the injuries.
Coming to the likes of Pique and Jordi Alba, the duo did pick up knocks but were okay enough to finish the entire game. It is highly unlikely that they will face time on the sidelines and are expected to be back for Barcelona’s next game on Sunday in the La Liga against Alaves.
A medical student with an avid interest for the game.