La Masia continues to save Barcelona once again this season as Marc-Andre ter Stegen’s back injury during the international break sidelined him indefinitely. While initially it was considered a minor sprain, the German has now missed three games back-to-back.
Nevertheless, Barça have not been particularly troubled without him as deputy goalkeeper Inaki Pena has stepped up to the job, and so far executed it rather well.
While he could be faulted for the goal scored by Rayo Vallecano in the 1-1 draw, things have been looking up since.
Pena was especially one of the best players against Atletico Madrid as Barcelona came away with a 1-0 win. The Spanish goalie saved a brilliant free-kick from Memphis Depay in the second half, and then made a brilliant 1v1 stop in injury time.
ter Stegen’s injury worse than initially thought
While Pena has been holding the fort for the Catalans, ter Stegen continues to be on the sidelines. In fact, his injury has been deemed worse than initially imagined, and the player may have to undergo surgery, as per reports.
According to an update from SPORT, though, ter Stegen is not convinced about getting surgery immediately, and wants to take time to assess his options.
Going under the knife would rule him out for several weeks, and possible most of the next couple of months, at the very least. It is, however, the most effective option in the long-run for him, as per the article.
Barcelona not panicked
Barcelona and Xavi want to give ter Stegen his time before coming to a conclusion, primarily because they are happy with Pena’s performances of late.
The German will definitely not be available to play against Girona next weekend, and if he opts for a more conservative treatment, he could be back in goal to face Valencia on 16th December.