Barcelona has already been without Ansu Fati since November because of a knee injury, and there are fears the teenage forward may be set for even more time on the sidelines.
The Spain international has already suffered one setback on the road to recovery and his rehabilitation has now “stalled” for a second time, according to Catalunya Radio. The report suggests it’s possible Fati may require another operation.
Fati’s meniscus “has not healed well” and a decision is expected to be made this week on whether he will undergo surgery yet again. There had been hope that Fati would return before the end of the season but the latest update suggests that now looks unlikely.
However, it’s worth noting the report has been denied elsewhere. Cope journalist Víctor Navarro reports that “medical sources” close to Fati deny talk of another operation and insist the 18-year-old is “fine.”
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Bad News For Barcelona
The news will still be of concern to supporters of Barcelona who are keen to see the 18-year-old sensation back in action as soon as possible.
Fati began the season in fine style with five goals and two assists before picking up a knee injury in the 5-2 La Liga win over Real Betis all the way back in November.
Yet Fati has had to overcome adversity in his career before now. In December 2015 he suffered a fractured tibia and fibula in his right leg that ruled him out of action for 10 months.
The forward was only 13 at the time but went on to make a full recovery and then become a regular in the Barcelona first-team, breaking a host of records along the way.
Indeed Fati’s emergence has seen him pick up another individual award this week. The 18-year-old picked up Goal’s NxGn 2021 trophy, handed to the best young player in the world.
Koeman and Barcelona have already had to cope without Fati for the last four months, but there’s no guarantee the forward will return before the end of the season. The Catalan giants play 10 more games in La Liga and also have a Copa del Rey final against Athletic Club on April 17 to look forward to.
Barca is already without Philippe Coutinho who is expected to miss the rest of the season after suffering a setback in his recovery from a knee injury, but Koeman still has plenty of attacking options with Lionel Messi, Antoine Griezmann, Ousmane Dembele, Francisco Trincao, and Martin Braithwaite all fit and available.
Fati Stays Grounded
Fati has been asked about his record-breaking efforts in a recent interview with Esquire and admitted he tried to stay away from all the hype and even kept away from social media.
“When it was the boom period after my debut, I didn’t look at social media too much, because I knew people would be talking about me,” he said.”If you buy into that talk too much, you don’t perform in the same way. Besides, reaching the first-team and making your debut isn’t the most difficult thing, the real challenge is to be there for many years.”
The forward’s comments suggest a maturity beyond his 18 years which will surely be needed if he does require more surgery. Meanwhile, Barca and the club’s supporters will be keeping fingers crossed that Fati can return to full fitness soon.
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