Barcelona have confirmed they expect teenage forward Ansu Fati to be sidelined for about four months following successful surgery on his left knee.
Fati, who turned 18 last month, started Saturday’s La Liga clash with Real Betis in place of Lionel Messi but didn’t re-appear for the second half as a result of suffering a medial meniscus tear.
He has now gone under the knife of revered surgeon Dr Ramon Cugat. The operation went well and Fati’s estimated recovery time could see him back in action for Barcelona in mid-March. The player will remain under the supervision of Camp Nou medical staff throughout his recovery.
Following the departure of Luis Suarez and a reshuffled front-line, Fati had started eight of Barcelona’s 10 games across La Liga and the Champions League so far this season. He has also appeared from the bench in the other two.
Fati has nine combined goals and assists to this name overall. Only Messi (6) has netted more than his five goals, while both jointly lead the Barca squad with four assists each. Fati in particular has registered an assist in all three Champions League group games this season.
His absence is therefore a sizeable blow to coach Ronald Koeman and the rest of the squad. Barcelona are already struggling in La Liga and lie eighth in the standings after winning only three of their opening seven games. Victory over Betis ended a run of four La Liga games without a win.
Despite his young age, Fati has already made 43 senior appearances for the Catalans since his debut at just 16 in August 2019 when he became the club’s second youngest ever debutant.
Having been granted Spanish citizenship in 2019, Fati made his senior Spain debut in September while still 17 and scored his first goal for La Roja three days later.