Barcelona's key midfielder Pedri injures hamstring

AP , Friday 17 Feb 2023

Barcelona midfielder Pedri will be sidelined with a hamstring injury for an unspecified period of time, putting in doubt his availability for upcoming games against Manchester United and Real Madrid.

Barcelona s Spanish midfielder Pedri reacts after a fall during the UEFA Europa League round of 32 first-leg football match between FC Barcelona and Manchester United at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, on February 16, 2023. AFP


Barcelona said Friday that tests revealed that its top playmaker had injured his right hamstring during the previous day's 2-2 draw against United in the first leg of their Europa League playoff. He was replaced in the 41st minute of Thursday's game at Camp Nou.

Xavi Hernandez's team faces Cadiz in the Spanish league on Sunday. Then comes the second game against United on Thursday, a league match at Almeria on Feb. 26, and the opening game of its Copa del Rey semifinal against Madrid on March 2.

Besides providing the key component to its passing attack, Pedri has played the most minutes of any outfield player for Barcelona this season while contributing seven goals. The 20-year-old Spain international has become a decisive scorer in recent weeks, scoring winners in three 1-0 victories over Getafe, Girona and Villarreal to keep Barcelona in the lead of the Spanish league.

He joins fellow midfielder Sergio Busquets and winger Ousmane Dembele on the injured list.

Pedri's absence may mean that Xavi will have to revert to a 4-3-3 lineup with three midfielders from the 4-4-2 he had been favoring recently.

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