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Alexia sets sights on Champions League semi-final return

Alexia Putella’s knee recovery is going from strength to strength as she sets herself a goal for a return to action.


July the fifth 2022 is a day etched in the mind of Alexia Putellas as the player sustained a serious knee whilst training with the Spanish national team on the eve of the European Championships in England. Following further tests a day later, the worst suspicions were confirmed with the Ballon d’Or winner rupturing her cruciate ligament. The injury came with the player at the peak of her powers and after surgery a week later, Alexia embarked on the long and hard journey back to full fitness with the incentive of a World Cup on the horizon and after seven arduous months, the midfielder is in the final stretch and her return to action is getting closer.

Many players who have suffered ACL tears in the past can take up to 12 months to fully recover and after seven and a half months away from the pitch, Alexia is hoping to be able to play in the return leg of the Champions League semi-finals. The player from Mollet del Vallés is already back in training but has yet to rejoin the rest of the FC Barcelona team. Her reincorporation with the rest of the squad and her sensations upon resuming to full training that will determine the timing of her reappearance. After receiving her second FIFA The Best award in Paris on Monday, she made it clear: “Now I’m even more eager to play again”. However, she was cautious and does not want to set a date: “I’ve been recovering for seven and a half months, I’ve gone through all the early stages of recovery and don’t want to take any risks.

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FC Barcelona Femni face AS Roma in the quarter-finals of the Champions League (games taking place on March 21 and 29). Should they progress they would face the winner of Chelsea-Olympique Lyon in the semi-final with the second leg set to be played at Camp Nou. Alexia has highlighted that April 29 could be a day for her return to action. “Above all, I want to recover perfectly and for my knee to be 100%. That would be ideal, but I don’t want to take any risks,” said Alexia. “I’ll let you know when I’m back. We are too optimistic talking about the quarter-finals of the Champions League and my return will be determined by my knee,” she explained.

FC Barcelona - Rosengard
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FC Barcelona - Rosengard Rodolfo MolinaDiarioAS

The 2023 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand looms on the horizon and although Alexia was not one of the 15 players who penned an email to the Spanish FA refusing to play, she did take a stand on social networks in favour of her team-mates’ protest and it remains to be seen whether she will return to La Roja or stay out of the national team: “There have been talks and I don’t know, we’ll have to wait and see,” she concluded.