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Soccer

Barça suspect Memphis Depay is slowing down injury recovery time

There is a feeling at the Catalan club that the Dutch striker is slowing down his recovery so as not to take risks and arrive in the best possible shape for the World Cup.

Update:
Memphis Depay, Barcelona and Dutch national team player.
Quality Sport ImagesGetty

Memphis Depay’s recovery time at FC Barcelona is starting to raise more than just eyebrows. The Dutch player sustained a hamstring injury in the Nations League game against Poland on 22 September. According to the initial prognosis outlined by the medical services, the Dutch striker should have recovered within a maximum period of four to five weeks. Despite the weeks advancing, there is still no return date for Depay with Barcelona still having two league games to play before the break ahead of the 2022 World Cup which commences on 20 November.

The suspicious minded at the club see this is a clear strategy for Memphis to reach the World Cup in the best possible conditions, aware that a forced return or a relapse at this point in the season would see the player not being selected by Netherlands boss Van Gaal. This level of caution, many feel is the reason why the striker has not yet returned to training with the Barcelona squad.

Player photo
Memphis

The club are resigned to the fact that Memphis will not be available for selection for two remaining LaLiga games as Barça face Almería on Saturday and the trip to Pamplona on Tuesday before the World Cup break. The player is expected to be released by the Catalan club before the FIFA deadline of 14 November with Barcelona exempt from the first round of the Copa del Rey which takes place on the weekend of 12/13 November.

The Netherlands are in Group A at the World Cup and will face Senegal, hosts Qatar and Ecuador.