Lost amid all the mayhem in Catalonia on Saturday was the injury sustained by star Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong.
The Dutchman’s time in Spain has certainly been a challenge after arriving in 2019 with lofty expectations. It took a while for De Jong to settle amid a tumultuous period for La Blaugrana, but his majestic best has manifested regularly over the past 18 months.
Xavi Hernandez rightfully labelled his Dutch maestro among the “best midfielders in the world” earlier this year while Barcelona were heading towards the La Liga title, and unless the club’s dire finances eventually force a sale, De Jong should function as a key part of Xavi’s outfit for years to come.
The 26-year-old had started the season in fine fettle but he’s now poised for a period on the sidelines after picking up an injury in the first-half of Barcelona’s stunning comeback win over Celta Vigo on Saturday.
Here’s the latest regarding De Jong’s fitness.
De Jong hobbled off and was replaced by Gavi at the weekend, with Barcelona later confirming that the Dutch international had picked up an ankle injury.
However, the club, in their statement, refused to offer a timeframe for his potential return: “Tests carried out on the first team player Frenkie de Jong show that he has an injury to the tibiofibular syndesmosis in his right ankle. He is unavailable for selection and his recovery will dictate his return.”
Unsurprisingly, speculation has been rife in the Spanish media regarding De Jong’s injury and when he could return to the field. The midfielder is expected to be out of action for around six weeks and it’s unlikely he’ll be fit for the first Clasico of the season which is scheduled for 28 October.
Some have suggested that Barcelona’s Champions League clash away at Shakhtar Donetsk on 7 November is the most likely return date for De Jong.
The former Ajax star joins Pedri on the sidelines, but there’s hope that the Spaniard will be fit for next month’s Clasico. Pedri has been missing since the third week of the season with a thigh injury, but he could return to the fold a week before Real Madrid’s visit against Athletic Club on 22 October.
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