Barcelona manager Xavi has played down the severity of Ansu Fati’s latest knee injury.
Fati, who struggled greatly with knee problems between late 2020 and early 2022, has been ruled out of Sunday’s meeting with Almeria as a result.
The club described Fati’s issue as a ‘bruise’ but, concerningly, reports note that this injury is to the same knee which has given the 20-year-old so much trouble over the past few years.
With that in mind, Barcelona are adamant that no unnecessary risks will be taken with Fati and have withdrawn him from training, although Xavi does not believe his absence will last too much longer.
“We hope that Fati will be ready for El Clasico on Thursday,” Xavi told the media on Saturday.
Xavi will also have a decision to make about another winger, Ousmane Dembele. The Frenchman has missed the last six games with a hamstring injury but is approaching a return, although just how soon that will be remains to be seen.
“[Dembele] is fine,” Xavi added. “Yesterday, he trained well.
“He looks fine, but he’s not 100% ready yet. He’s about to return to team training, so it all depends on his recovery. We trust his instincts, he’s fine and that’s important.”
The boss did, however, have some positive news about defender Ronald Araujo, who was substituted in the dying embers of the recent defeat to Manchester United.
“He is 100% ready,” Xavi said of the Uruguay international.