Ansu Fati has suffered a setback in his recovery from a serious knee injury, placing his involvement in Barcelona’s heavyweight Champions League last-16 clash with Paris Saint-Germain into serious doubt.
The 18-year-old forward has been out of action since early November, with his last outing coming in a 5-2 victory over Real Betis.
Another exciting product of the famed La Masia academy system had been thriving at that stage, with five goals recorded through 12 appearances.
Having also broken through in the senior Spain squad, big things were expected of the talented youngster, however, impressive progress has been stopped in its tracks.
It has been reported by TV3 that Fati has been forced to go under the knife again, with further surgery required in order to ensure that he makes a full recovery.
Sources have revealed to Goal that this is not the case, with no second operation undergone so far, but it has been confirmed that Fati is suffering discomfort in his knee and that further treatment has been taken in.
With that in mind, it is unlikely that a return to action will be made any time soon, and that represents a blow to Barcelona’s immediate plans, with big games coming thick and fast for Ronald Koeman’s side.
An away date with Real Betis in La Liga is due to be taken in on Sunday, before attention then switches to the semi-finals of the Copa del Rey and a clash with Sevilla.
The Blaugrana will be looking to keep a title bid on track when they play host to Alaves on February 13, with that fixture followed three days later by the first leg of a meeting with PSG, and Fati is not expected to figure in any of those contests.
Barca had initially hoped that a hot prospect would be back on the training field by the end of January, but that has not been the case.
Avoiding surgery would be a welcome bonus, as it would almost certainly bring Fati’s 2020-21 campaign to a close, but it remains to be seen when he will be ready to figure alongside Lionel Messi and co again.