Barcelona have reportedly been hit with a fresh injury concern over France international Ousmane Dembele. The 23-year-old is suffering from pubalgia and has been enduring discomfort for “several weeks,” according to Diario Sport’s Tomas Andreu.
The report adds that Dembele is undergoing “conservative treatment” on the problem but it has not yet solved the issue. The option of surgery is not being contemplated for now because Barca are facing a crucial run-in and remain in contention in La Liga and the Copa del Rey.
Dembele is also hoping to feature for France in the summer at the European Championship after winning a recall to the national team for March’s World Cup qualifiers. The injury would benefit from rest but that is not an option at present.
Andreu adds that Dembele’s discomfort has increased in recent weeks and there is “concern” about what may happen with the injury in the future.
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Dembele Won’t Miss Copa del Rey Final
News of Dembele’s latest physical issue will be of concern, particularly given his injury record, but there is no danger of the Frenchman missing Saturday’s crucial Copa del Rey final against Athletic, according to Cadena Cope’s Helena Condis.
Dembele has been told to be careful by the club’s medical team and to inform them if he notices any more discomfort. The forward has become a regular this season for Barca after seeming to shrug off the injury problems that plagued his first three seasons at the Camp Nou.
The 23-year-old has gone on to make 38 appearances in all competitions for Ronald Koeman’s side in 2020-21, scoring 10 goals along the way in what is his best season since joining from Borussia Dortmund in 2017.
Koeman will certainly want to have Dembele available for Saturday’s crucial match. The Catalan giants head into the game after a demoralizing defeat to Real Madrid in La Liga that has hit the team’s hopes of being crowned Spanish champions.
The Dutch boss will now be hoping his team can bounce back in some style in Seville and pick up a first trophy under his stewardship. Barca are the most successful team in the competition’s history and have won the Copa del Rey a record 30 times.
Pique Back For Copa?
Koeman could also be able to call on veteran center-back Gerard Pique for the match with the defender fit and available after knee trouble. The 34-year-old was included in the squad for Saturday’s Clasico but was an unused substitute.
According to Marca, Pique is “fully recovered” and ready for the Copa del Rey final. The report adds that the veteran “seems certain to start” no matter which system Koeman employs for the Athletic clash.
Koeman has used a three-man central defense in recent weeks but saw the new formation struggle against Real Madrid. Barca switched to a more traditional 4-3-3 in the second half of El Clasico, which brought an improved performance, and Koeman could stick with that system against Athletic.
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