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Injured Barcelona mainstay unlikely to make a comeback until 2024

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Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

Even as Barcelona revel in the joy of their 1-0 win over Atletico Madrid last night, they may have some concerning news regarding the situation of star goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

The 31-year-old has been dealing with a lower back problem that led to him missing Germany’s matches last month.

The shot-stopper was also unavailable for Barça’s last three games against Rayo Vallecano, FC Porto, and Atletico Madrid last night.

Ter Stegen’s situation was understood to be not serious initially, but with his recovery going much slower than anticipated, surgery is being considered as an option.

Ter Stegen unlikely to return until 2024

Now, Javi Miguel of AS is reporting that Ter Stegen is unlikely to make a comeback to on-field action until 2024.

The chronic pain in his lower back has not subsided and the situation is getting alarmingly long, which is why both the goalkeeper and the medical services have decided to take the bull by the horns.

Several options are being considered, one of which is to take a few weeks’ break to try to allow the pain to subside naturally, with the consequent risk that the discomfort will continue. Another, which is preferred by the doctors, is to undergo surgery.

Surgery on the cards? (Photo by AXEL HEIMKEN/AFP via Getty Images)

In principle, it would be a simple operation, with the aim of removing pressure between the vertebrae, with a recovery time of four to six weeks.

If this is the route that Ter Stegen and Barcelona opt to go down, the German goalkeeper could be available from January, missing the next four matches: three in La Liga (Girona, Valencia, and Almeria) and one in the Champions League (Royal Antwerp).

In any case, it is clear to the club that a solution has to be found because this situation is likely to go on forever.

It should not be forgotten that Ter Stegen has been tested on three occasions in recent weeks, all of which have ended in failure, as he has not had a good feeling.

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