WORLD CUP 2022
Barcelona concern over Ronald Araújo recovery
Barcelona defender Ronald Araújo could play for Uruguay in the 2022 World Cup just two months after undergoing thigh surgery
Barcelona are becoming increasingly concerned about Ronald Araújo’s recovery from injury. The central defender, who is continuing to work his way back to fitness with the Uruguayan national team doctors, had thigh surgery less than two months ago but has already returned to the training field and has increased his training workload.
Barcelona, and physio Chechu Pérez in particular, are under the impression that both Araújo and Uruguay head coach Diego Alonso are trying to rush the player’s return to action so that he can feature at the World Cup.
As AS has learned, Barcelona and Uruguay had verbally agreed that Araújo wouldn’t be involved in the group stages and that Alonso would have to wait until the knockout rounds to call upon his services. The defender underwent surgery in Finland on 28 September, with an initial prognosis estimating that he would be out of action for two-and-a-half to three months. As a result, the club and Alonso reached a gentleman’s agreement that the player wouldn’t rush back from the injury and that he wouldn’t be considered for selection until the knockout stages at the very earliest.
However, recent events have left the club fearing the worst, especially after seeing that Araújo has stepped up his training in recent days, even taking part in some drills with the rest of the players on the roster. Although it seems unlikely that he will be involved in the match against South Korea on 24 November, there is a growing feeling that he could feature in the game against Portugal four days later, just two months after his operation and two weeks before his earliest estimated return date.
If Araújo does finally come back earlier than expected, Barcelona director of football Mateu Alemany will demand an explanation from the Uruguayan Football Federation as to why the original agreement wasn’t adhered to.
AS has learned that Araújo has reassured the club that he isn’t rushing himself back and that he will act in the best interests of the club. But Barcelona are seriously concerned that stepping up his recovery so quickly will lead to a recurrence of this particular type of injury, especially while also taking into account the defender’s injury record. Araújo was forced off just 24 seconds into a friendly match between Uruguay and Iran on 23 September.