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Injury update: Barcelona superstar expected to be 100% fit for UCL clash vs Napoli

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Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

Barcelona have been hit by several waves of injuries over the last couple of seasons, with key players out at serious points in the season that has ended up costing them trophies.

Last season, the absence of several players in the defence line meant the Catalans were powerless against Inter Milan and Bayern Munich, and were eventually relegated to the UEFA Europa League.

This season, injuries to Frenkie de Jong, Pedri, Ronald Araujo, and Marc-Andre ter Stegen have derailed Barcelona’s season, especially in the league to an extent.

While the others were replaced in essence by the likes of Andreas Christensen, Jules Kounde, Fermin Lopez, and others, ter Stegen’s back injury has proven to be a huge blow to Xavi and co.

The German goalkeeper has been out since mid-November with back trouble, and went under the knife late in 2023 hoping for a complete recovery. He was expected to be back by mid-February.

There is finally an update on his return, with RAC1 claiming that ter Stegen has been making solid progress. The coaching staff will increase his workload in the coming weeks to see how he responds.

Either way, the expectation is that he will be back in time for Barcelona’s clash against Napoli in the Champions League round of 16 on 21st February.

Inaki Pena had taken over ter Stegen’s spot in goal since his injury, and while he has had some moments of brilliance, the general consensus over the Spaniard’s performances is far from satisfactory, especially from fans.

The 24-year-old has been on the end of a few mistakes across his 14 games so far this season, including giving away the ball against Almeria, poor positioning against Rayo Vallecano, and just general underwhelming shot-stopping against Real Betis.

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