Ansu Fati has gone against the advice of Barcelona and will not undergo surgery after suffering another injury setback.
The teenage sensation picked up a hamstring injury in last week’s Copa del Rey defeat against Athletic Bilbao having just recovered from a similar injury layoff.
The Spain international has been frustrated by multiple injury problems over the past 14 months having sustained a serious knee injury in November 2020.
That ruled the 19-year-old out for the remainder of last season and he underwent multiple surgical operations after initial treatment did not have the planned impact.
Within a month of his return to action this season, he suffered minor knee pain before being sidelined for a further two months with a hamstring problem.
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Fati returned to the pitch for the recent Spanish Supercopa clash against Real Madrid where he scored within minutes of his introduction to force the game into extra-time.
The forward again came on as a substitute in last week’s loss in Bilbao but limped off with a fresh injury setback in another frustrating development.
Officials at the club believed he should undergo surgery this week in order to correct the injury and prevent the setback reoccurring in future months.
Barca boss Xavi said of the player’s injury problems: “It’s a recurring injury. It’s out of our control.
“We will now get an exhaustive and specific plan in place to ensure that he never gets injured again.”
That would have kept Fati out of action for three months, but the player has decided against this course of treatment and will instead look for the injury to heal naturally.
This will mean that the teenager is set to return to the pitch by March at the latest although there are lingering concerns that he could suffer a fresh injury if it is not managed correctly.
Fati has only featured in ten games across all competitions this season while Xavi has been extremely cautious not to rush him back to fitness.
Boss Xavi has also warned: “We need to do anything we can to recover him mentally. We need him. He is an impressive footballer, capable of making a difference.
“It affects us all, but he is the main affected because he cannot do what he likes.
“He is very affected. It is a very difficult situation.
“He has to make a very strong recovery.”
The 19-year-old netted five goals in his 10 outings last season while he has matched that goal tally this season, despite starting just four matches in all competitions.
While the latest development ensures that the player is likely to return again with a chunk of the season still remaining, there is ongoing concern at Barcelona over his tendency for sustaining injuries.