FC Barcelona

Barcelona set fresh Ansu Fati return date

Tom Gott
Barcelona will take their time with Fati
Barcelona will take their time with Fati / Quality Sport Images/GettyImages

Barcelona will resist the urge to rush young winger Ansu Fati back from his latest injury concern and will keep him on the sidelines until 2022.

Fati has been battling a hamstring injury since early November and had been hoping to make it back in time for Wednesday's Champions League meeting with Bayern Munich, but common sense took over and club doctors decided he was not ready for that game.

When that decision was made, December 18's clash with Elche was tipped as a potential return date for Fati, but AS state that doctors have chosen to push that back even further so as to ensure that the teenager is 100% ready.

Fati, who has been heavily involved in his recovery schedule, is now expected to sit that match out and use the winter break to get himself back up to speed. He hopes to make his long-awaited comeback in the first game of the year, against Mallorca on January 2.

The decision to keep Fati in the treatment room has not been taken lightly. Xavi is struggling for numbers in attack at the minute, with Memphis Depay picking up a hamstring injury to join Sergio Aguero and Martin Braithwaite on the sidelines.

With Luuk de Jong out of favour, Xavi has been turning to wingers and academy talents to fill out his forward line, with Ilias Akhomach and Ez Abde two of those youngsters to profit from Fati's absence.

Xavi obviously wants Fati back now, but there is an acceptance that rushing him back could lead to another injury and yet another spell on the sidelines, so he will be kept back until Barcelona are completely certain that he is ready.

A similar call has been made with midfielder Pedri, whose return from a more severe hamstring problem has been pushed back multiple times.

Getting to the bottom of Barcelona's injury struggles has been among Xavi's top priorities since returning to Camp Nou.

The medical department has been shaken up, with Xavi bringing in some of his trusted physios, sports scientists and doctors to address Barcelona's seemingly never-ending injury issues.