The injury bug has bitten Barcelona as the club announced that center-back Ronald Araujo suffered a hamstring injury and is set to miss some time.
It’s a significant blow as the Uruguayan is one of the best defenders in the game and a pillar in the Catalan defense. But an injury is nothing new as Araujo has been rather injury-prone since earning promotion to the first team.
Diario AS’ Javier Miguel reports that Araujo is set to miss at least a month with Barcelona hoping to have him back in time for their first Champions League group game. What is certain, however, is he won’t be available for the matches against Cádiz, Villareal and Osasuna. It’s worth pointing out there is an international break meaning he’ll an extra week to recover.
Barcelona do count on the likes of Jules Kounde and Andrea Christensen as a center-back pairing. Eric Garcia is also an option should Xavi Hernandez decide to play Kounde as a right-back. New signing Iñigo Martinez is not currently registered and is out with an injury of his own.
Given Araujo’s injury history, playing him as a right-back doesn’t seem like the best option going forward. It’s why there is such an urgency to sign one with Joao Cancelo as the priority with Ivan Fresneda as a possible back-up.
Whether playing at right-back against Getafe led to the injury is unknown as he’s gotten injured even when used exclusively as a center-back.
If there is any silver lining is the injury doesn’t appear to be severe and it’s coming very early in the season. Last season, Araujo missed some important games in the Champions League and his absence certainly played a part in Barcelona failing to qualify out of the group stage.
Again, the international break played in Barcelona’s favor this time around but the club is undoubtedly going to be concerned that arguably their best defender keeps picking up knocks more than he, or the club, would like.