Fati boost for Barcelona after nine-month injury nightmare as 18-year-old returns to training



The talented teenager, who has suffered with serious knee problems, is edging his way back into contention at Camp Nou

Barcelona have been handed a welcome boost by the sight of Ansu Fati returning to full training.

The 18-year-old has endured a wretched run on the injury front of late, but a long road to recovery is finally coming to an end.

Ronald Koeman is not in a position to welcome the highly-rated forward, who topped the 2021 Goal NXGN poll, back into his plans just yet, but an imminent return is on the cards.

How long has Fati been out for?

The Spain international, who saw fitness setbacks dash his Euro 2020 dreams, has been stuck on the sidelines for nine months.

His last competitive appearance for Barca was brought to a close at half-time on November 7, 2020.

He was replaced by Lionel Messi in a 5-2 win over Real Betis, and has subsequently seen a six-time Ballon d’Or winner head through the exits at Camp Nou.

When could Fati return to action?

Barcelona will not be rushing a prized action back into their starting XI, with his ongoing recovery being handled with care.

Koeman has suggested that it could be after the September international break before Fati figures for the Blaugrana.

The Dutch tactician has said: “Ansu is still recovering from his injury, he is improving. 

“It’s always difficult to say when but if everything goes well in 2-3 weeks let’s see if he can be available to train with the group. And to play games? Probably after the international break.”

If all goes to plan, Fati could come back into contention for a trip to Sevilla on September 11.

Any other concerns at Barcelona?

While Fati, who has been working on an individual programme for several weeks, has been welcomed back into the full senior fold, others missed out on Tuesday.

Frenkie de Jong and Memphis Depay worked away from the rest of the group.

A Netherlands international midfielder picked up a calf problem in pre-season, while his fellow countryman – who was snapped up as a free agent over the summer – sustained a slight ankle knock in Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Athletic Club.

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