Pedri facing another month out as injuries derail Barcelona
Barcelona and Spain midfielder Pedri is expected to remain on the sidelines for yet another month after suffering yet another setback in his recovery from a thigh injury.
The 18-year-old first picked up the injury against Bayern Munich all the way back in September in a UEFA Champions League clash, after which a rushed return forced him onto the treatment table for what was initially expected to be just a few weeks.
In late October, it was revealed that Pedri returned to light training but was almost immediately forced to stop, after which scans showed that he had aggravated his injury and was likely to miss another month.
According to Catalunya Radio, it’s the exact same story again. Pedri was expected back soon but the latest round of scans have uncovered further problems with the same injury, and he’s now expected to miss yet another 30 days of action.
There’s a good chance that 2021 could be over for Pedri, who could miss five La Liga games – against Espanyol, Villarreal, Real Betis, Osasuna, and Elche – as well as Champions League clashes with Benfica and Bayern.
Such a prolonged period on the sidelines is an alien concept to Pedri, who played a whopping 68 games for club and country last season, 54 of which came as a starter.
Pedri’s fitness will be one of the first dilemmas for new manager Xavi to solve. The former midfielder is keen to rejuvenate the club’s medical facilities and figure out why Barcelona has struggled so greatly with injuries in recent years.
Head physio Juanjo Brau, fitness coach Albert Roca and chief physician Ramon Canal have all been relieved of their duties, and Xavi is already lining up replacements to try and bring an end to the club’s plague of fitness problems.
In the short term, he’ll have to figure out a way to cope without Pedri on the pitch. Fortunately, the injury bug hasn’t been so rampant among Barcelona’s midfielders recently and Xavi has a full cohort to choose from.
Sergio Busquets will continue at the base of the midfield, with youngsters Nico Gonzalez, Gavi, or Riqui Puig able to fill in alongside him as Barca try to close the gap between them and leaders Real Sociedad.
Barcelona is currently sitting ninth on the La Liga table after 12 rounds of matches in what is a very poor start of the season for the Blaugranas.
New manager Xavi will hope to start his reign with a win this weekend against 11th placed Espanyol at Camp Nou on Saturday, 20 November in what will be a very interesting fixture.