Barcelona’s luck seems to be on the upturn with Xavi Hernandez ready to welcome at least seven players back into the first-team ahead of his first game in charge against Espanyol after the ongoing international break. The Catalan club have had a terrible time on the injury front with a number of players succumbing to knocks in recent weeks.
Ansu Fati was the latest casualty, with the striker now expected to miss at least four to six weeks with a thigh injury picked up during their draw against Celta Vigo. The Spanish attacker had only just returned from a long-term injury absence a few weeks ago, but is sidelined yet again.
According to Spanish publication Sport, a number of players are on the mend and could return to training before the La Liga season resumes after the international break. Pedri is among the players expected to return after missing more than a month due to a recurrence of a thigh injury that has plagued him previously.
Alongside Pedri, the likes of Gerard Pique, Sergino Dest, Neto, Sergi Roberto, Nico Gonzalez and Eric Garcia are all expected to return to training in the coming days and may be available for the game against Espanyol. Barcelona have been struggling without key players in both offence and defence, and Xavi will be hoping to get their campaign back on track after the break.
Apart from Pedri, the other injuries have all been short-term, but the frequency at which players have been picking up injuries has caused alarm bells to go off at the Camp Nou. There has been an internal enquiry, with the Daily Mail recently reporting that Xavi had bid adieu to two members of the club’s medical department.
One of Xavi’s first acts as the new boss of Barcelona was to sack physical trainer Juanjo Brau and physio Albert Roca in light of the poor injury record in recent months. The new head coach will be hoping that a shake up to the medical team will help reduce the frequency of the injuries suffered by his first-team squad.