Barcelona winger Ousmane Dembele has been ruled out for four months after the club confirmed he has undergone successful surgery to repair tendon damage in his right knee.
Dembele, whose Barcelona career has been ravaged by injuries ever since a €145m transfer from Borussia Dortmund in 2017, suffered the latest setback while playing for France at Euro 2020.
The 24-year-old had come on as a substitute in France’s second group game against Hungary but later had to be substituted himself in the closing stages of the match.
Dembele had the operation at a facility in Finland at the hands of Dr. Lasse Lempainen and under the supervision of Barcelona medical staff. His recovery timeframe means he is unlikely to return to action for the club before the end of October.
It means he will miss the first ten weeks of the new season and will be playing catch up in terms of fitness and match practice by the time he is fully recovered.
Hamstring, thigh and other muscle injuries have been the most common causes of Dembele’s absences during his Barcelona career. He was forced to miss more than three months because of a ruptured thigh muscle only a matter of weeks after arriving at Camp Nou in 2017.
The player encountered further injury problems in the second half of his second season, while he was only able to manage nine appearances in all competitions during the 2019/20 campaign.
Even though he wasn’t completely free of hamstring trouble in 2020/21 Dembele did play 44 times in all competitions, which is the most appearances he has made in a single season for Barcelona.
That is what makes his latest blow all the more frustrating for the player, while by the time he returns to fitness he will have to contend with competition from new signing Memphis Depay.