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FC BARCELONA

Barcelona injury update: Pedri expected back vs Real Sociedad in LaLiga

Barcelona’s midfielder is finally expected back after an absence of 71 days and should return to the squad to travel to San Sebastián.

Pedri (100M€€)
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Barcelona have their fingers crossed that ‘Project Pedri’ finally comes to an end against Real Sociedad at the Reale Arena on Saturday 4 November 2023, with kick-off at 4 p.m. ET / 1 p.m. PT.

The midfielder, if he appears in northern Spain in blue and red stripes, would put an end to an absence of 71 days since his injury and hopefully begin a new era at the Catalan club.

Since his arrival from Barcelona from UD Las Palmas in the 2021/22 season, Pedri (20-years-old) has had a terribly unfortunate time with muscle injuries that have seen his playing time significantly reduced. In fact, the midfielder has missed more than an entire calendar year thanks to physical issues since he put pen to paper with the current LaLiga title holders.

What is Pedri’s injury record with Barcelona?

He has been out for a total of 378 days which, if we put that into terms we are more comfortable with, the number of games he has missed, it comes to a figure of 68. Pedri was signed to be the start of a simultaneous regeneration and revolution in the Barcelona squad and midfield; the financial situation of the club has seen them significantly less mobile in terms of transfers: Pedri was supposed to be the shining light in times of change.

Unfortunately, it has not quite happened, or at least as not as frequently as Barcelona would have liked. Of the seven injuries Pedri has suffered since his arrival at Camp Nou, five have been thigh issues, one bout of covid-19 and another muscle injury.

What is Pedri’s current injury?

The last time Pedri got injured was back on August 24 in a training session, a couple of days after Barcelona’s 2-0 win over Cádiz in LaLiga. Since then he has not reappeared on the pitch, despite hopes that he would be fit to play minutes against Athletic Club (when Marc Guiu got that winner) and even look to increase his involvement against Shakhtar in the UEFA Champions League (when Fermín scored that goal) in order to be able to start against Real Madrid (you know what Jude did). In hindsight, given that he accumulated zero minutes from the three ties, such high expectations now seem optimistic.

Fermín has been a revelation in Barcelona's midfield this season.
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Fermín has been a revelation in Barcelona's midfield this season.PAU BARRENAAFP

Will Pedri play against Real Sociedad?

Now, as things stand, Pedri slipping back into Xavi’s starting XI now looks slightly less straight-forward as it might have a few weeks ago, given the meteoric rise of Fermín López, as well as the solid performances by Gavi in Pedri’s usual inside midfield role. As well as this, we have to keep in mind that Frenkie de Jong and Ilkay Gundogan are also starters is Xavi’s eyes, although the Dutchman is himself still recovering from physical issues.

Xavi respects the injury recovery timescales from the club doctors given the dangers of relapses and setbacks in the run-up to being fully match fit: the head coach always takes into account the feelings of the players and their opinion when it comes to deciding on their inclusion into group training. While players such as Jules Koundé, Robert Lewandowski and Raphinha all raised their hands to play in El Clásico, Pedri, just as he did against both Athletic and Shakhtar, said he wasn’t right.

It is hoped that against Real Sociedad the midfielder can finally see some minutes and start to get back into the fold of a team that has missed him greatly in his absence: Barça currently sit fourth in LaLiga, just 4 points from top.

When was Pedri’s first injury with Barça?

With Pedri on the pitch, Barcelona have had their best games against Real Madrid and after his hugely anticipated arrival, the midfielder strung a long number of games together under Ronald Koeman’s leadership. He finished the LaLiga season and went almost all the way with Spain in the Euros before joining up with the Olympic team - it was then when he suffered a serious injury from which he is yet to fully recover. On September 30 2021, Pedri had a thigh injury that saw him miss 102 days of action with the blaugrana.

Xavi reiterates that “the easy thing would be to think that the origin of the injury [to Pedri] comes from the amount of games this season, but I think it’s more than that. What we want is for him to feel good and we respect his feelings”. At last, it seems like those feelings are finally of hope.

You can follow Barcelona’s game against Real Sociedad at the Reale Arena on Saturday 4 November 2023, with kick-off at 4 p.m. ET / 1 p.m. PT. with AS USA.