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Injured Barcelona midfielder will push to return for UCL quarter-finals if team qualifies

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Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

Barcelona suffered an unthinkable blow in their clash against Ernesto Valverde’s Athletic Club last night. Facing off against the team that knocked them out of the Copa del Rey not too long ago, the Blaugranas not only failed to take three points but also lost two players to injuries.

Frenkie de Jong went down in pain midway through the first half after an awkward landing on his ankle. He was joined on the sidelines by Pedri 25 minutes later when the youngster pulled his hamstring once more.

Lengthy period out

Tests carried out on the players revealed the nature of the injuries they had sustained. Earlier today, Barcelona confirmed that while Frenkie de Jong sprained a ligament in his right ankle, Pedri had sustained a right quadriceps injury.

As has been reported already, De Jong is expected to be out of action for four to five weeks, with a return against Cadiz (April 13/14) being targeted.

A fresh report from Carrusel Deportivo claims that De Jong would push to return in time for the UEFA Champions League quarterfinal, should the team qualify for the same.

The first leg of the UCL quarter-finals will be played on April 9 and April 10, which would mean that De Jong would have completed four weeks on the sidelines by then. As such, he will target a return to that particular fixture, if Barça are to qualify.

Out with an ankle injury. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

Pedri, meanwhile, looks set to sit out for longer as there is no estimated time for his recovery revealed so far.

A task now complicated

Having secured a 1-1 draw away at Naples after a solid performance, Barcelona were well placed as the favourites to advance into the quarterfinals of this season’s UCL. The story now is far from as clear.

With both De Jong and Pedri ruled out for the return fixture, Barcelona will be without two of their most creative outlets on the field. Needless to say, the twin injuries seriously hurt their chances of progression in the competition.

Moreover, Napoli have been in decent form since the draw against Barcelona, beating Sassuolo and Juventus in their last two games in Serie A. Notably, they have scored eight goals across the two games alone.

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