Barcelona have confirmed that star player Alexia Putellas has undergone successful knee surgery on the torn ACL in her left knee and will now begin a lengthy period of recovery, but that will potentially make her a doubt to feature at the 2023 World Cup next summer.
Putellas cruelly suffered the knee injury just days before Spain’s opening game at Euro 2022, denying her the chance to take the stage at what could have been a breakout international tournament.
La Roja were heavily fancied in the build-up to the finals in England but had also already lost veteran striker Jenni Hermoso to injury a few weeks earlier.
Putellas has been to two previous European Championships and two World Cups since 2013, but the 2021 Ballon d’Or winner was expected to be one of the stars of Euro 2022 after a rapid rise to international prominence within the last couple of years.
Now, she could miss the whole of the 2022/23 season with Barcelona, with a best-case-scenario ten-month absence potentially keeping her sidelined until the middle of May.
The next World Cup is due to kick off in Australia and New Zealand on 20 July and up to a 12-month layoff makes her a serious doubt to be ready to play. Even if she is available, Putellas will have had the best part of a year without any football.
The length of her recovery period is a major blow to Barcelona’s hopes of recapturing the Champions League title this coming season.
Even notwithstanding Putellas’ injury, it has been a summer of change in Catalonia, with Lieke Martens, Leila Ouahabi, Melanie Serrano and the aforementioned Hermoso moving on. Lucy Bronze, Nuria Rabano, Geyse Ferreira and Salma Paralluelo have come in.