BARCELONA

Barcelona: Ansu Fati out until March after successful meniscus operation

Surgeons managed to 'save' the internal meniscus in Ansu's left knee but the recovery period has been extended to March 2021.

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Ansu Fati will not play again in 2020 after it was confirmed on Monday that he will be out of action for the next four months. The Barcelona forward underwent an Arthroscopy at the Quirón Clinic today, in which Doctor Ramon Cugat and his team tried to save the internal meniscus in the player's left knee, stitching the torn fragments back together as to not leave any scarring. However, it is a procedure which involves a longer recovery period -  in the most optimistic of scenarios, Ansu Fati will be available against in March.

The doctors' main task was to keep as much of the player's original meniscus in tact. Losing a part of the meniscus at his age could increase the risk of medium to long term problems with the joint -  particularly in terms of degeneration of  cartilage and arthrosis. By rescuing Ansu's meniscus, the player will be able to fully recover although he will need a long period of rehabilitation.

Had doctors decided to trim and remove the damaged meniscus, the recovery period would be reduced to two months, but that would have consequences in the future. Opting for a conservative non-surgical treatment would have reduced the recovery time to just six weeks but that too would increase the risk of Ansu's knee suffering problems in the future.

Depay back in the frame

The forward will need approximately three months for the meniscus to heal and one month in training - first, on his own then with the squad. With Ansu Fati out until March, Ronald Koeman will have an extra excuse to bring in another forward  to strengthen his attack. The chances of Barcelona signing Olympique Lyon's Memphis Depay in the January window have increased. The player has reiterated his desire to join the Catalans after a move to Camp Nou failed to materialise over the summer.