Pedri and Frenkie de Jong, arguably the two most important midfielders for Barcelona, will miss extended periods of time with injury. Both players required substitutions during Barcelona’s dreary scoreless draw at Athletic Club this weekend. That game provided Barcelona a chance to close the gap with Real Madrid to six points in LaLiga. Now, the club remains eight points adrift in LaLiga, and it sits third in the league.

The prospect of challenging for the league was already bleak before the knocks. Now, injury issues with Pedri and Frenkie de Jong have virtually ended the title race for Barcelona. The club released a statement that said both midfielders will miss time. Granted, Barcelona did not reveal how much time that would take. The two players’ recoveries will play a role in determining when they can return to action for the Catalan side.

For Frenkie de Jong, the injury was a clear moment when the Dutchman rolled his ankle. In the first half against Athletic Club, de Jong rose for a header. However, on the way down, he twisted his ankle and immediately called for a substitution. Frenkie de Jong required a cart to help him off the field. Also in the first half, Pedri needed a substitution. The Spaniard’s injury was not as clear, but he was not moving well for most of the closing stages of the first half.

All-too-familiar injury issues at Barcelona for Frenkie de Jong and Pedri

Upon review, Barcelona said Frenkie de Jong suffered a lateral ligament sprain in his right ankle. For Pedri, it is a right quadriceps injury. Neither diagnosis is promising, even if they are slightly vague. The Dutch midfielder missed two months because of an ankle sprain earlier in the season. That ruled de Jong out of 10 games.

Pedri has dealt with muscle injuries for years after bursting onto the scene as a teenager. Since the 2021/22 campaign, Pedri has missed 71 games for club and country as a result of hamstring and other muscle injuries. For example, Pedri missed 12 games with a hamstring issue earlier in the season. Upon his substitution against Athletic Club, Pedri was moved to tears at the realization that he will miss more time.

The lack of Pedri and Frenkie de Jong has compounded other issues for Xavi. The Blaugrana’s inconsistent form has been a consequence of rampant midfield injuries. In addition to Pedri and Frenkie de Jong missing time this season, Gavi’s ACL tear ended his season in November. Now, the load is fully on Ilkay Gundogan to be the catalyst in the midfield. Both Pedri and Frenkie de Jong will miss at least one month of action for Barcelona with injury.

A season to forget still bears importance

Barring a miracle, Barcelona will not win LaLiga. It is still in the UEFA Champions League, and the round of 16 return leg against Napoli is level at one. Based on the quality of other teams, though, Barcelona is not going to win that competition, either. That leaves Barcelona trophyless, but it is not all pointless. Finishing in the top two in LaLiga is crucial for the club in its bid to reach the Supercopa de España next season. Qualification for the four-team tournament means increased revenues, which Barcelona is desperate for.