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Thursday, February 29, 2024

Muscle injury to sideline Barca’s Dembele for around a month

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Madrid: Tests carried out on FC Barcelona’s Ousmane Dembele on Sunday confirmed that he will be out of action for three to five weeks.

The French international winger had to leave the pitch midway through Saturday evening’s 1-0 win away to Girona, and coach Xavi Hernandez commented afterwards that Dembele feared he had suffered a muscle injury in his left thigh.

The club carried out tests on Sunday morning, confirming on their social media sites that Dembele had suffered an injury while adding that “when he is available again will depend on how his injury progresses.”

The nature of the injury means that Dembele will be sidelined for at least three weeks, but given his long history of muscle problems, the club will have to be careful not to rush his return.

That means he will at least miss Barca’s next three La Liga matches against Betis, Sevilla and Villarreal, the first leg of their UEFA Europa League tie against Manchester United, and the first leg of their Copa del Rey semifinal.

Barca have alternatives such as Ansu Fati, Raphinha and Ferran Torres, but Dembele’s eight goals in 28 matches and his pace on the break have been vital for his side this season.

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