Barcelona’s recovery plan for Pedri ahead crucial Champions League group stage

Barcelona will not take any risks with Pedri. While in the past the Blaugrana may have forced the issue with his fitness, relying on him for their creative spark, they now feel in a position to be much more cautious with his latest injury.

At 20 years old, many dubbed Pedri Barcelona’s best player at times in the past two years, and there is little denying his impact on the side. Yet during those two years, he has become increasingly plagued by injuries, unable to stay fit.

Picking up another muscle tear in mid-August, theoretically his recovery should be complete towards the end of September, but Sport say that he will not reappear until the second half of October, when Barcelona take on Athletic Club.

Barcelona have ruled him out of their next six games against Royal Antwerp (H), Celta Vigo (H), Real Mallorca (A), Sevilla (H), Porto (H) and Granada (A). In Porto and Antwerp, that includes the opening two fixtures of their Champions League group stage, which Xavi Hernandez is under major pressure to qualify from.

Pedri is set to return to the pitch this week, having done gym work until now, and will train alone from then on. It will be some time before he is back with the group.

Part of the reason for this approach is the fine form of Oriol Romeu, Frenkie de Jong and Gavi, with Ilkay Gundogan still promising more too. Xavi is happy with his alternatives. Previously Pedri has often been compared to Andres Iniesta, who also suffered from his own injury woes, although not at such a young age nor from so many games. Barcelona will be hoping Pedri can emulate one of his idols and leave behind the injury issues too.