Barça overwhelmed by FIFA virus ahead of El Clásico
The Blaugrana infirmary has collapsed 15 days before the clash with Real Madrid. Balde, the latest to fall victim to the FIFA virus.
Alarm bells went off in Barcelona when on Thursday Alejandro Balde hobbled out of Spain’s European qualifier against Scotland. After the match, coach Luis de La Fuente confirmed that the full-back had suffered a groin injury, was returning to Barcelona and was ruled out of the next game against Norway. Injuries continue to rise at Barcelona, which is a worry given the demanding calendar that lies ahead. We take a look at who is in the casualty room.
Tests conducted on Friday ruled out a serious injury to the adductor, so medical staff are confident that will have recovered within a maximum period of 10 to 12 days. It means that he will almost certainly miss the match against Athletic Club, but he could, in the best of cases, be back for the Champions League matchday 3 game against Shakhtar in Montjuïc on 24 October. However, with El Clásico four days later, he will not be taking any unnecessary risks.
The height of bad luck for Xavi’s team. The team’s best defender so far this season was injured in Granada when Gavi accidentally fell on his knee, causing a sprain which ruled him out for three weeks. Until that moment he was the player who had played the most for Barça and along with Araújo’s absence the start of the season, and Iñigo’s lack of rhythm, he was a regular fixture in the defense.
Frenkie de Jong
The Dutchman’s injury is the one that most worries the club’s medical service. He has a very delicate injury and could be out for a while, which is why doctors are concerned. Technically it is a distal tibiofibular syndesmosis affecting his right ankle. In layman’s terms, that means that the ankle ligament which joins the joint to the tibia is damaged and as it is a ligament which players use a lot, De Jong needs to make a full recovery or run the risk of a relapse. That can be fatal because it can cause a rupture. De Jong will have to be patient and is obviously ruled out for the next month.
The islander has suffered a constant run of muscular injuries. During the preseason, he independently started a bodybuilding program with the aim of putting an end to so many muscle ailments. It seems that it has not worked because he had a problem in the rectus femoris muscle of his right thigh. As a direct result of this latest injury, Barcelona have decided to change its training protocol and eliminate any physical preparation outside of of what is done with the club and supervised by its coaching staff. He has a chance of making it to the Clásico as long as he has some playing time before the Shaktar game. Given his history, he is not going to risk anything.
Another player who surprised last season with his consistency who is now struggling to shake off a niggling muscle complaint. He suffered a tear to his right hamstring - another injury which is difficult to treat and usually recurs. The Brazilian was injured during the league game against Sevilla after missing two games due to suspension. He has made seven appearances this season with a total of just 281 minutes playing time.
Two themes combined: a very young body still in the growth process together with an intense, physical workload - as he has been covering for Raphinha in his absence. His case is not serious, but this injury to the iliopsoas (groin) is his left leg is more sensitive in him than it would be in an older, more developed player. Nor is it widely understood what, that while he was recovering, he had to travel to Madrid to confirm his injury with the Federation’s doctors. In his case, the mental stress and exposure to which he is subjected is of greater concern.
The striker was injured in Porto - the victim of a tackle that was not even considered a foul. He has a Grade II sprain to his left ankle, which logically would rule him out from playing against Madrid, but the forward explained in an interview on television in his country that he feels better than he expected and his excellent history of recoveries from injuries invites optimism. However, if he does recover in time for the Clásico, he won;t have had much competition time. As it is not a muscle injury, it can be risky.