Barcelona out of sorts: 16 injuries in three months...
Concern at Barcelona for the unusual number of injuries the squad has suffered since the start of the new season - some players have been injured more than once.
Since Leo Messi tore his calf muscle in his first training session of the pre-season on 5 August, Barcelona's medical team have been working overtime to deal with the constant flow of injuries. It's an unusual situation and one which is difficult to explain. A total of 10 players have paid a visit to the blaugrana treatment room - most of them with muscular injuries, and predominantly calf muscle and hamstring problems.
The latest victim is Nélson Semedo, who is facing five weeks out after rupturing his left calf muscle - both Messi and Luis Suárez have suffered similar injuries. The Uruguayan striker has had two spells on the sidelines for calf problems in just three months while Leo suffered a relapse while he was recovering which prolonged his rehabilitation by a further three weeks.
But the majority of the injuries Barça have been suffered have affected the thigh muscle and especially the hamstring. The latest to fall foul to such an injury was Jordi Alba, who tore his left hamstring in Tuesday's Champions League game against Slavia Prague and is expected to be out for one month. Before him, Dembélé and Junior Firpo have had the same problem and spent a number of weeks out.
Samuel Umtiti meanwhile, is a case apart - his refusal to undergo surgery to sort out the problems with his left knee has left him in a cul-de-sac. In 18 months he has yet to play two consecutive games although this season it hasn't been his troublesome knee which has kept him out but a hairline fracture to a bone in his right foot which has sidelined him for over a month.
Another fracture patient was goalkeeper Neto who underwent an operation on his left wrist - an injury which left him in the sickbay for five weeks. Others, such as Ansu Fati and Sergi Roberto have been out of action albeit with minor fitness issues.
Two Barcelona players remain sidelined
At the moment, just two players remain in Barça's casualty room - Jordi Alba and Nélson Semedo. Coaching staff are keeping their fingers crossed than none of the team's international players fall victim to the FIFA Virus while domestic competition is on hold for the 10 days.
Almost half of the squad has been injured at some point since the season started - some have even been out injured more than once (Dembélé, Alba, Messi and Suárez) which is a worrying trend for the club, and especially seeing as the squad's working methods have not changed at all and there is a greater control over nutrition and injury prevention. In spite of all that, the plague injuries doesn't look like stopping...
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