In a Barcelona setback, coach Xavi Hernandez expressed concern over the potential lengthy absence of midfielders Frenkie de Jong and Pedri.

The duo sustained injuries during a challenging 0-0 draw against Athletic Club in La Liga action on Sunday.

De Jong’s unfortunate incident unfolded in the first half when an awkward fall on his ankle forced him to leave the field on a stretcher, subsequently seen departing the stadium on crutches. Pedri, too, faced a cruel twist of fate just before half-time, as he limped off in tears after appearing to tweak a muscle while reaching for a pass.

Speaking after the game, coach Xavi revealed the grim outlook, stating, “The injuries to Pedri and Frenkie do not look good. It is very unfortunate. They look like they will miss several games and could be out for a long time. We have to hope it is less than we fear, but it is tremendous misfortune for us.”

The absence of these key players adds to Barcelona’s midfield woes, with Gavi already sidelined due to a long-term injury. The available options for Coach Xavi include Ilkay Gundogan, Oriol Romeu, Sergi Roberto, and Fermin Lopez, with Andreas Christensen transitioning into a midfielder in recent weeks to provide additional support.

As Barcelona prepare for a crucial Champions League clash with Napoli next week, the loss of De Jong and Pedri come as a significant blow. The teams are deadlocked at 1-1 after the first leg in Naples, intensifying the importance of the upcoming match.

Before the Champions League showdown, Barcelona face Mallorca in La Liga action on Friday. The draw against Athletic Club on Sunday leaves Barcelona in the third position in the La Liga table, missing an opportunity to capitalize on Real Madrid and Girona dropping points. 

The uncertainty surrounding De Jong and Pedri’s recovery further heightens the challenges for Barcelona in their pursuit of success on multiple fronts.