The Dutch midfielder asked to be substituted towards the end of Barcelona’s 4-0 win over Real Mallorca and subsequently missed the games against Leganes and Sevilla.
Barcelona announced he has a calf injury but stopped short of confirming how many games he will miss. Javier Miguel at AS has reported he could sit out Barcelona’s next four La Liga matches against Athletic, Celta Vigo, Atletico Madrid and Villarreal.
De Jong feels his injury was initially misdiagnosed and has been left so angered by the club’s treatment he has threatened to return to the Netherlands to recuperate, according to Jordi Grau at Catalunya Radio.
The 23-year-old has been a regular in the Barcelona team since joining from Ajax last summer but is now set to miss a crucial part of the season. The team are level on points with Real Madrid at the top of the table with eight games left to play.
Setien Confident De Jong’s Season Is Not Over
It’s still unclear when De Jong will return to action but manager Quique Setien played down suggestions his season had been ended prematurely in Monday’s press conference ahead of Barcelona’s clash with Athletic.
“We hope that’s not the case. He has a small injury to his calf but the forecast depends a little on how the injury develops. We’ll sure he will play a game or a few games.”
De Jong will be hoping he can return before the end of the season. Their final La Liga fixture is against Alaves on July 18. Barcelona will then resume their Champions League campaign on 7 or 8 August with the second leg of their last-16 tie against Napoli.
The Dutchman will be missed while he’s out but Barcelona does not lack for midfield options. Ivan Rakitic and Arthur are the most likely candidates to replace him in the starting XI, although 20-year-old starlet Riqui Puig is also pressing for more minutes.
Injuries Have Affected Barcelona’s Season
Injuries to important players has been a key theme of Barcelona’s 2019-20 season. Captain Lionel Messi missed the start of the campaign for the first time in 10 years with a calf injury.
Javier Miguel at AS noted back in February the club had suffered 29 injuries to 16 different players in 2019-20. Indeed the club’s injury situation saw the RFEF grant permission to bring in Martin Braithwaite on an emergency transfer in February after the transfer window had closed.