Ousmane Dembele Doubtful For El Clasico After Reported Slow Recovery

FC Barcelona forward Ousmane Dembele is now doubtful to return for a March 19 installment of El Clasico against Real Madrid after it was reported that his recovery from injury is progressing slower than expected.

The number ‘7’ has been out of action since January 28, when he pulled up with a thigh knock on 26 minutes away at Girona in La Liga and was replaced by eventual goalscorer Pedri in the 1-0 win.

It was initially reported that the Frenchman could be out of action for five weeks, which would become six if he made a possible return for Sunday’s trip to Athletic Club in Bilbao.

Reports from AS on Monday said that Pedri, who is likewise trying to get over his own thigh knock, could also make the trip to San Mames and be handed a 20-25 minute cameo towards the end of the match.

Joining the pair on the injury list is Robert Lewandowski, and while all three men were collectively pencilled in to don Blaugrana once more for a March 19 Clasico in La Liga that could decide the title race, RAC1 and Mundo Deportivo claim that Dembele is doubtful for that fixture too.

RAC1 says that Dembele’s recovery is going slower than was initially expected with Barca preferring to act with caution.

While Dembele is definitely ruled out for the Athletic Club meeting, his participation against Madrid is no longer a certainty as well.

If Dembele indeed fails to make the squad list for El Clasico, he could use the international break to further rest and then finally make his comeback against Elche in the league on April 1.

A few days later, Barca face Madrid again in one of their biggest games of the season and will attempt to keep them to a stalemate or beat them once more in the Copa del Rey semi-final second leg considering the 1-0 advantage gained at the Bernabeu last week in the first meeting.

In Dembele’s absence, Raphinha and Ferran Torres have been tried out by Xavi on the wings to mixed results.

On Sunday, however, Raphinha scored the only goal of the game against Valencia which fired Barca to a nine-point lead at the top of the table.

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/tomsanderson/2023/03/07/fc-barcelona-injury-news-dembele-doubtful-for-el-clasico-after-reported-slow-recovery/