Barcelona confirmed on Sunday that striker Martin Braithwaite has been ruled out of action after picking up a leg injury following the club’s 1-0 Joan Gamper Trophy win over Elche.
The Denmark international was an unused substitute in Saturday’s final pre-season friendly but suffered the problem in a practice match on the Camp Nou pitch after the final whistle.
Barcelona issued a statement confirming Braithwaite’s injury.
“First team player Martin Braithwaite has a left quadriceps anterior rectus injury and the evolution of the problem will condition his availability.
“The tests carried out this Sunday have shown up the injury, which occurred in post-match training on Saturday.
“This pre-season, Braithwaite participated in the friendlies against Nàstic and Girona, both at the Johan Cruyff Stadium. Against the former, he played the entire second half, replacing Messi, while against Girona he played the last half hour.”
Braithwaite will now miss at least the first three weeks of the new season because of the injury, according to Javier Miguel at AS. The 29-year-old will not be available for games against Villarreal, Celta and Sevilla and joins goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Samuel Umtiti and Matheus Fernandes on the club’s injury list.
Yet Braithwaite does not appear too worried about his current injury. He posted a message on social media explaining how excited he is ahead of the new season.
Pumped to get started with the season. Are you? 💪🏾🔥 pic.twitter.com/V0Lw7JLxZB
— Martin Braithwaite (@MartinBraith) September 20, 2020
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Braithwaite Set For Bit-Part Role?
Braithwaite’s injury will be a blow to the striker who looks set for a bit-part role at Barcelona in 2020-21. The Dane has not started any of the club’s pre-season friendlies under new boss Ronald Koeman and didn’t manage a minute against Elche.
The Dutch coach has plenty of attacking options for next season with Antoine Griezmann, Lionel Messi, Ansu Fati, Ousmane Dembele, and Francisco Trincao all in his squad.
There has been speculation Braithwaite could be sold this summer, but the striker told Marca in August he was not thinking about departing the Camp Nou.
“I have not thought about changing clubs, and I have not spoken to anyone about it. I am just thinking about preparing myself for next season with Barcelona. I am hungry to stay here and win many titles. I see myself here a long time. I talk with my agent regularly and there has been no discussion about leaving.”
Braithwaite has made it clear how determined he is to succeed at Barcelona after moving to the club in February on an emergency transfer from Leganes. However, the striker will have his work cut out, given the competition for places, and will need to grab any first-team chances he does get with both hands.