Lionel Messi may be in the headlines later. Barcelona confirmed the exit of their talisman. But amidst all the fuss, the Catalan club also confirmed a double-injury blow ahead of the new season.
Frankie de Jong and Pablo Martin Peugeot, also known as Guevara, were knocked out of Red Bull Salzburg during Barcelona’s pre-season friendly. The La Liga club suffered their first defeat of the pre-season at the hands of the Austrian team 2-1.
De Jong played almost the entire game before replacing Manaj for the last seven minutes, after which the club confirmed a calf injury that is not as scary as they had hoped. The Netherlands are certain to miss the Young Gamper Trophy game against Juventus and are in doubt for Barcelona’s opening game of the La Liga season against Real Sociedad on 15 August.
“Frankie de Jong has pulled the internal gastrocnemius muscle in his right leg and is therefore not available until he recovers from the injury.” Barcelona said in a statement..
Gavi, meanwhile, played a 72-minute game against Red Bull Salzburg before replacing Reiki Peugeot. The club confirmed on Thursday that the highly rated 17-year-old had a fractured jaw, which is expected to keep him out for at least four weeks.
The Barcelona U-19 star has been one of the most impressive stars of the young team during the pre-season. Spain Youth International is hoping that its excellent performance during the pre-season will promote it to the Barcelona B setup for next season, while also being able to train with the first team on the spot.
De Jong’s injury will be a major blow to manager Ronald Koeman, who is already without Philippe Coutinho. The Brazilian midfielder is in the final stages of recovering from a knee injury that ruled him out in the second half of last season, and he has yet to make a single appearance in the pre-season.