Barcelona are leading 2-0 at half-time in their final home game of the season. A brace from Ansu Fati has helped the team attain a comfortable position heading into the second half.
However, the comfortable lead at half-time has come with its costs, with youngster Alejandro Balde picking up an injury. Amath Ndiaye Diedhiou was sent off after a horror challenge, scything down the Barcelona man close to knee height.
Balde looked in immediate discomfort and was subsequently taken off, with Sergi Roberto replacing the young left-back in the 17th minute of the game.
Following half-time, Barcelona have confirmed Balde has sustained a partial tear of the external lateral ligament of his right ankle. He has been ruled out for at least six to seven weeks.
❗ COMUNICAT MÈDIC— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona_cat) May 28, 2023
Balde té una ruptura parcial del lligament lateral extern del turmell dret. El temps de baixa aproximat serà d’entre 6 i 7 setmanes. pic.twitter.com/TtUDoMwYVv
This serves as a major blow for Barcelona. Although we are approaching season end, Xavi would not welcome the injury, knowing Balde will be a key man for Barça heading into the new season.
With Jordi Alba announcing his decision to leave Camp Nou at the end of the season, Balde is likely to be elevated into the role of the first-choice left-back for the Catalans. His injury, therefore, could hamper his preparations for the season ahead.
It also serves as a reminder for Barcelona to secure a viable alternative. Fortunately for them, Marcos Alonso is still a part of the team and will not leave Camp Nou in the coming summer. The former Chelsea man is likely to serve as a backup for Balde next season.
But for Barcelona’s last game of the season, it will be Alba who will take on the responsibility at left-back, in what will be the veteran defender’s last game for the Catalans.