Barcelona confirmed on Sunday that Frenkie de Jong is out until further notice due to injury. The midfielder missed Friday’s draw with Sevilla and is now set for more time on the sidelines.
The Catalans released a statement with details of the Dutchman’s injury but did not confirm how long they expect him to be out of action for.
“The clinical follow-up on Frenkie de Jong has uncovered an injury in the soleus of his right leg. The evolution of the injury will condition the player’s availability. Barça’s No.21 is in his first season as a player at FC Barcelona, and has played a total of 38 games, 27 of them in the league.
“Thus far, the Dutchman has only missed three matches in the domestic competition, the last one coming this past Friday against Sevilla.”
De Jong’s injury is a serious blow to the club’s title hopes with just eight games of the season left to play. The midfielder was signed from Ajax last summer and has become a regular in the team in 2019-20.
Barcelona are back in La Liga action on Tuesday at home to Athletic and then travel to Celta Vigo on Saturday.
Chance for Arthur and Rakitic to Shine
De Jong’s injury means Arthur and Ivan Rakitic will be competing for the chance to shine in the Barcelona midfield alongside Sergio Busquets and Arturo Vidal. Rakitic came in for the Dutchman against Sevilla and put in a good performance.
Arthur also featured as a late substitute in the draw at the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium and will be hoping he can make his first start for Barcelona since La Liga resumed in June after a three-month break.
Manager Quique Setien could also look to give more game time to young star Riqui Puig. The 20-year-old impressed off the bench in the 4-0 win over Real Mallorca but was only a late substitute against Sevilla and didn’t have time to make an impression.
Tough Run-In for Barcelona
De Jong’s injury comes at a bad time for Barcelona. Their draw at Sevilla on Friday means the defending champions can be knocked off the top of the table if Real Madrid beat Real Sociedad in Sunday’s late game.
Setien’s men still have eight games left to play but four of those are away from home, and the champions have struggled on their travels this season. They have picked up just 22 of 45 points away from the Camp Nou.
Barca also still have to play a resurgent Atletico Madrid at the Camp Nou. Diego Simeone’s side knocked European champions Liverpool out of the Champions League in March and are unbeaten in three games since La Liga restarted.