Ansu Fati: light at the end of the tunnel and a lot of caution

The attacker is training with the squad for the first time since suffering a knee injury in November last year

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Ansu Fati at Tuesday's training session at Ciutat Deportiva del Barça

BarcelonaAnsu Fati begins to see the light at the end of the tunnel. The squad's star player completed part of Tuesday's training session with the squad for the first time since injuring the inner meniscus in his left knee on 7 November 2020 in a match against Betis at the Camp Nou. His return is getting closer and closer, but although some reports point to the Liga clash against Sevilla at the Sánchez Pizjuán on 11 September as a possible date to see Ansu play again, the Catalan club do not want to set a specific date for his return and say that the Spanish-Guinean player will suit up when he is ready to do so.

They insist that caution is necessary with a player who has had to work hard, both physically and mentally, to recover from an injury that has been an ordeal and that will have left him out of the game for ten months. In fact, Ansu has undergone up to four operations for the same injury. Two days after his injury, on 9 November, the first operation was carried out in Barcelona by Dr Ramon Cugat under the supervision of the club's medical services. A first suture was performed on the internal meniscus. The initial forecast of four months of sick leave, however, would come to nothing: in January the affected area was reopened to repair an allergy in the suture and at the end of March, as advanced by the newspaper As, the striker, who could not withstand the loads posed by the recovery workers, returned to the operating room to undergo a diagnostic arthroscopy that did not offer positive answers either.

After three operations in Barcelona without a satisfactory outcome (and the internal criticisms in the club that this came to), Ansu was placed at the beginning of May in the hands of the doctor of the Portuguese football team, far from the specialists who usually work with the club, to end the ordeal that left him practically all last year without playing, both in Barça and with the Spanish national team. Finally, and at the request of his agent Jorge Mendes, the footballer was operated in Porto by José Carlos Noronha, who practiced a partial removal of the meniscus. The attacker, after this last intervention, completed part of his recovery between Barcelona and Madrid, being treated with Joaquín Juan and Raúl Martínez. The first has worked with top athletes such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Radamel Falcao (both represented by Mendes) and Pau Gasol, while the other is the head physiotherapist of the Spanish Football Federation.

However, Ansu was received yesterday with a welcome corridor by his teammates. Ronald Koeman is waiting for him with open arms: without Messi and with the club in financial difficulties, the best reinforcement for the forward line is asking for the Spanish-Guinean to recover. At the moment, Ansu will gradually alternate his participation in group training sessions with specific work on the sidelines to complete his recovery.

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