Barcelona were just beginning to come out of the end of the injury tunnel, with the exception of Gavi’s cruel anterior cruciate ligament issue, but Monday has brought with it concerning news for the Blaugrana.
Goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen will have to choose between surgery and a conservative treatment to solve his back pain, but will not be back before the end of 2023, and neither will Inigo Martinez. The Basque central defender has been amongst Barcelona’s best players this season, but a hamstring problem will keep him sidelined, as has been confirmed by the club. Martinez pulled up in the warm-up ahead of the Atletico Madrid clash, and was replaced by Andreas Christensen.
MEDICAL NEWS | Tests carried out have revealed that Íñigo Martínez has a right hamstring injury. He is out and his recovery will determine his availability. pic.twitter.com/0BphvBTLHr
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) December 4, 2023
Sport say that Martinez is likely to miss the next month of action, although he could perhaps make their final game of the year against Almeria on the 20th of December if things go well. However they note that Xavi Hernandez is more likely to proceed with caution.
“A stop along the way to return stronger.
It’s time to stop and recover to get back to 200%.
Let’s go for it!! Thanks for your support!”
Un alto en el camino para volver con más fuerza. 💪🏼
Toca parar y recuperar para volver al 200%. 👊🏼
¡Vamos a por ello!! ¡Gracias por vuestro apoyo! 💙❤️ pic.twitter.com/cQSVJf3s6P
— Iñigo Martinez (@InigoMartinez) December 4, 2023
Martinez will be absent against Girona, Royal Antwerp and Valencia too, but should be available for their first 2024 game against Las Palmas on the fourth of January. Martinez missed the first month of the season with a chronic heel issue, and while the 32-year-old is proving he has the talent to play for the Blaugrana, his injury history is increasingly a concern.
🚨 OFFICIAL: Tests carried out on Monday show that Iñigo Martínez has a biceps femoral muscle injury in his right hamstring. The defender is unavailable for selection and his recovery will dictate his return. @FCBarcelona pic.twitter.com/0TE9iHfUdC
— barcacentre (@barcacentre) December 4, 2023
Xavi has plenty of strength in depth there, as was demonstrated by Christensen on Sunday night, but with one of Jules Kounde and Ronald Araujo often playing right-back, it reduces his options to rotate.