When will Barcelona’s Alexia Putellas return from injury? Will she play at the Women’s World Cup?
Barcelona and Spain star Putellas was named The Best FIFA Women’s Player for the second year in a row.
On 5 July 2022, alarm bells began to ring when Barcelona star Alexia Putellas, the winner of The Best FIFA Women’s Player Award on Monday, felt a sharp pain in her knee during a training session with the Spanish national team. A day later, her worst nightmare became a reality: she has torn her ACL (anterior cruciate ligament). The most feared injury for any soccer player had occurred just as she was at the peak of her powers.
It was a new challenge for the best player in world soccer to overcome and one which she approached with positive and an endless amount of hard work. On 12 July, she went under the knife and started the long road to recovery that had the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup as a target at the end of it. Seven months later, Putellas is on the home stretch and could make her return sooner than was anticipated.
What did Alexia Putellas say about her return from injury?
ACL injuries typically take around 12 months to fully recover from. But seven-and-a-half months in, the 29-year-old has already set her sights on return to the field for the second leg of the Champions League semi-finals in late April. Putellas has returned to training and already done some ballwork, with Barça optimistic that their star midfielder will soon be able to train ‘normally’ with the rest of her teammates. Only then will we know for definite when she is likely to return. After winning the Best FIFA Award for the second year running, Alexia was reluctant to set a date for her comeback but made her desire to get back out on the field clear: “Now I’m even more excited about playing again. I’ve been here for seven and a half months, I’ve gone through various stages of recovery. But I don’t want to take any risks.”
Champions League semi-final return pencilled in
If Barcelona defeat Roma in the quarter-finals of the Champions League (21 March and 29 March), they would face either Chelsea or Lyon in the semis, where they would have the advantage of playing the second leg at Camp Nou. 29 April is the date that has been pencilled in for her return. “Above all, I want to recover properly, for me knee to be perfect and to be in the right shape to help the team - who are doing really well - to win lots of trophies. That would be ideal, although I don’t want to take any risks”, she explained. “I’ll let you know when I’ll be back. The Champions League quarter-finals would be being too optimistic, I think. My knee will decide”.
Spain controversy ahead of World Cup
As mentioned, a World Cup in the summer could be the perfect way to celebrate being back at full fitness. Although the Barça captain wasn’t part of the group that composed the infamous email criticising the Spanish national team set-up and head coach Jorge Vila, she did appear in support of those who did on social media. One recovered, it remains to be seen whether Putellas will indeed return to La Roja: “There have been some discussions, as has already been said. Could I go back or not? I don’t know. I’m injured now anyway, so we’ll see”.
To be able to comment you must be registered and logged in. Forgot password?