Xavi Hernandez gives injury update on key duo including return date for one

Barcelona Manager Xavi Hernandez has confirmed that star defender Ronald Araujo’s return is imminent, ahead of their Champions League clash with Royal Antwerp.

Araujo was ruled out for a month to six weeks after a muscle tear that he suffered against Cadiz in their second game of the season. The Uruguayan returned to group work with the Barcelona squad on Monday, but has been left out of their Champions League squad for Tuesday’s European opener.

Speaking to the press, Xavi confirmed that he was close to fitness, but would return this weekend.

“Ronald is good. We could have forced it tomorrow but it’s not worth it. Saturday he will be back.”

The Blaugrana face Celta Vigo at Montjuic on Saturday evening at 18:30 CEST. Following that they will face Real Mallorca away and then Sevilla at home. Xavi was also quizzed on Pedri’s recovery, who is still doing gym work.

“Pedri is doing very well, he is feeling very good, he still has a little bit left to do, I can’t give a date because it depends on how he feels, but the important thing is that he recovers well and that he is with us as soon as possible, as well as possible. We’re not going to take risks.”

The most recent reporting is that Pedri is expected to be out for more than a month yet, although partly due to the international break in mid-October. Pedri is expected to miss Spain’s clashes with Scotland and Norway, and return after the break.

Both will have plenty of competition on their return. Andreas Christensen has been a starter since early last season, while Jules Kounde has moved into the middle and returned to his previous form at Sevilla, looking every bit a top central defender. Meanwhile the midfield of Gavi, Oriol Romeu and Frenkie de Jong looked as it has in some time, with Ilkay Gundogan also looking for minutes.

Tags Barcelona Celta Vigo Pedri Ronald Araujo Royal Antwerp Xavi Hernandez
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