Frenkie de Jong and Pedri face ‘long’ Barcelona injury absences – Xavi

Barcelona midfielders Frenkie de Jong and Pedri are both set to be out of action for at least one month.

Both players departed injured during the first half of Barca’s scoreless draw at Athletic Bilbao on Sunday evening in La Liga.

De Jong, 26, was taken off on a stretcher after sustaining an ankle injury from landing awkwardly following an aerial duel, before Pedri also had to make way — in tears — after sustaining a muscular injury following an attempted pass.

On Monday, Barcelona confirmed De Jong suffered a lateral ligament sprain in his right ankle while Pedri has a right quadriceps injury.

Well-placed sources at the club believe Dutch international De Jong will be sidelined for at least one month, with fears that Pedri could be unavailable for a longer period. Barcelona will be extra cautious with Pedri’s return due to his injury record.

“The injuries to Pedri and Frenkie do not look good,” Barca boss Xavi told reporters on Sunday night. “It is very unfortunate. They look like they will miss several games and could be out for a long time. Between today and tomorrow, we’ll know more.

“These are two very important players for us, and it seems like they will now be out for several matches, perhaps a long time. We have to hope it is less than we fear, but it is tremendous misfortune for us.”

A tearful Pedri was forced off through injury in Bilbao (Jose Breton/Pics Action/NurPhoto via Getty Images))

A tearful Pedri was forced off through injury in Bilbao (Jose Breton/Pics Action/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Barcelona are next in action at home to Mallorca in La Liga on Friday night before hosting Napoli in the second leg of their Champions League round-of-16 tie four days later. The first leg was drawn 1-1 in Naples last month.

Barcelona remain third in La Liga, one point behind Girona and eight behind league leaders Real Madrid. Having been eliminated from the Copa del Rey and Spanish Supercopa, Europe is their one remaining hope of cup glory this season.

Pedri, 21, has seen muscular problems severely curtail his availability for Barcelona in recent seasons.



Pedri’s injury sparks long-term worries. He and Barcelona have been here before

“We have to give him a lot of love and support for him to return,” Xavi added on the midfielder. “We will be by his side. We have to help him come back stronger.”

On Barcelona’s performance and result, Xavi added: “We did not play a good match. It is a missed opportunity. We could have done better.”

Barcelona are already without Gavi for the remainder of the campaign after the midfielder tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in November.



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(Alex Caparros/Getty Images)

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