Barcelona defender Ronald Araujo has a troubled injury history, but that does not mean to say he is not able to handle pain or put his body on the line. Despite suffering from a facial fracture, the Uruguayan will forego surgery in order to continue playing, starting with Girona on Sunday.
Araujo will be up against fellow Uruguayan Cristhian Stuani, who will no doubt give him a physical challenge. Yet Araujo is a physically intimidating defender too, and more so with the mask that he will be wearing in order to compete this weekend. On Thursday, he tested out his mask in training.
If you didn’t already think he was a machine… pic.twitter.com/LdGB9hBNAc
— Football España (@footballespana_) December 7, 2023
Previously the likes of Gavi and Carles Puyol have played through facial injuries using a mask too, and Araujo is likely to start on Sunday. Andreas Christensen missed training in order to attend the birth of his second child, but should be available for the match, while Jules Kounde was the only senior central defender that did train normally, as per Sport. With Inigo Martinez recovering from his muscle injury, 16-year-old Pau Cubarsi was called up by Xavi Hernandez to make up the numbers, and he could be in the squad at the weekend too.