Pedri, De Jong suffer injuries as Barcelona enter crucial phase of season

The Catalan club will face Napoli in their UCL knockout match

By Web Desk
March 04, 2024
Barcelona's De Jong sits on a stretcher as he is being taken out of the field. — AFP

FC Barcelona met with two unfortunate incidents during a goalless draw against Athletic Bilbao at San Mames on Sunday as two of their key midfielders, Frenkie de Jong and Pedri, picked up injuries.

Both players had to leave the field during the second half as Xavi Hernandez’s men failed to break the home side’s defense and had to return with just a point along with injuries to two very important players.

De Jong, 26, left the field on a stretcher as he sustained an ankle injury while Pedri was in tears as he walked down the pitch following a muscular injury.

Xavi feared in a post-match presser that injuries to De Jong and Pedri could be lengthy and they may end up missing several matches.

“The injuries to Pedri and Frenkie do not look good,” Xavi told reporters after the game. “It is very unfortunate. They look like they will miss several games and could be out for a long time. Between today and tomorrow, we’ll know more.

“These are two very important players for us, and it seems like they will now be out for several matches, perhaps a long time. We have to hope it is less than we fear, but it is tremendous misfortune for us.”

Barca will play Mallorca at home on Friday in a league match before taking on Napoli in the second leg of their round of 16 match after drawing the first leg 1-1.

The Blaugrana are also third in La Liga, one point behind city rivals Girona and eight behind Real Madrid. They have also been eliminated from Copa del Rey and Spanish Supercopa in January.

Pedri has had a history of muscular injuries and the recent one has just added to Barca’s worries as the Catalan giants may end up entering the market to find the Spaniard’s alternate due to his never-ending injuries.

“We have to give him a lot of love and support for him to return,” Xavi added on the midfielder. “We will be by his side. We have to help him come back stronger.”

“We did not play a good match. It is a missed opportunity. We could have done better,” Xavi said on Barca’s performance.