In what will come as a blow for Barcelona, superstar winger Ousmane Dembele has been ruled out of the upcoming El Clasico against Real Madrid next week.
This claim comes from the reliable Helena Condis of COPE, who states that the Frenchman has not suffered any relapse of his injury, but the club wants to be cautious with regard to his recovery and do not wish to rush him back.
Dembele suffered a hamstring injury in late January during the La Liga encounter against Girona. Since then, the 25-year-old speedster has missed a bunch of crucial matches including the ones against Sevilla, Real Betis, Manchester United, and Real Madrid (Copa del Rey).
After his injury, it was reported that the 2018 FIFA World Cup winner could be sidelined for a period of five weeks, but it seems like the recovery process has not gone at the pace that was expected.
Ideally, the plan had been for Dembele to return to team training this week and get some minutes against Athletic Club later this week so that he can build up some rhythm ahead of El Clasico.
But, earlier this week reports emerged claiming that the 25-year-old will not be ready in time for the trip to San Mames, while it was also suggested that he could be a doubt for the La Liga clash versus Real Madrid.
Now, Helena Condis has claimed that Dembele is definitively ruled out of the contest against Real Madrid as Xavi and the medical department do not want to take any risks with his recovery, given his past injury history.
It means that the Frenchman will unlikely be called up to national team duty by Didier Deschamps later this month and will only return to action after the international break, allaying any fears that Barça had that he might suffer a relapse while away with Les Bleus.