Key Barcelona duo suffer injuries in Copa del Rey loss against Athletic

The Blaugrana were dealt a fresh blow in the defeat
The Blaugrana were dealt a fresh blow in the defeat
Sachin Bhat

Barcelona's injury woes seem to have no end in sight.

In their Copa del Rey clash with Athletic Bilbao last night, both Ansu Fati and Pedri went off injured.

Fati, who'd just come on at the start of the second half, walked off the pitch in extra-time in tears after pulling a muscle in his left thigh. Early reports suggest the forward will be out for roughly six weeks, though further assessments will be made.

Ansu Fati is in tears as he's taken off injured again for Barcelona ๐Ÿ’”

The 19-year-old, who broke into the first-team in 2019, has been riddled with injuries for some time now. Since the start of the 2020/21 season, Fati has played in only 12 league matches, starting in six.

Now that he's set for another lengthy spell on the sidelines, the Spanish international's future will also come under question. Though he signed a new five-year extension last year that will keep him at the club until 2027, recurring injuries may force Barcelona to reconsider their terms.

Pedri injury not serious, confirm Barcelona

Just a while after Fati went off, Pedri too had to walk off the pitch. The Spaniard was on target earlier in the match to make it 2-2 in stoppage time and force extra time.

But he could only play the first 15 minutes of extra-time as Pedri had to come off for Martin Braithwaite with Barcelona trailing 3-2. However, reports now claim that the 19-year-old wasn't injured and he only requested to be taken off as a precaution due to fatigue.

Ansu Fati is in tears as he's taken off injured again for Barcelona ๐Ÿ’”

While head coach Xavi will be relieved to know that, he'll still have to be cautious against overplaying the youngster going forward. It poses a fresh selection headache for the beleaguered manager, who's already contending with a host of marquee absentees.

Memphis Depay, Sergi Roberto, Eric Garcia and Samuel Umtiti are all currently in the treatment room. To make things worse,

Ousmane Dembele was also asked to leave before the end of this month after it was confirmed that the Frenchman didn't want to sign an extension on his current deal. The player was already mired in a contractual impasse with the Blaugrana after refusing to take the pay cut that was demanded of him. But now an exit is imminent.

His departure will further reduce Xavi's options in the attack. However, Martin Braithwaite's return to action last night after four months out may cut Xavi some slack.

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Edited by Diptanil Roy


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