Barcelona disappointingly drew with Espanyol.
And one key member of the squad was sorely missed.
Barcelona‘s backup goalkeeper Neto finally made his long-awaited La Liga debut in the Catalan derby in Saturday’s draw 2-2 after an injury to Marc-Andre ter Stegen. The Brazilian shot-stopper, who was signed from Valencia for €26 million during the summer, had previously made just one appearance for the club this season, coming in their 2-1 win over Inter Milan in the Champions League group stages.
The 30-year-old has been part of every Barcelona squad since he returned from a hand injury at the start of the season, and he was forced to debut against rivals Espanyol after an injury to Ter Stegen.
“It is true that he has some problems in the tendon,” said coach Ernesto Valverde in a press conference on Friday, quoted by Marca. “He will not be available against Espanyol and for the Super Cup it will be difficult too. He will return after the Super Cup.”
The club had said on Monday that Ter Stegen is undergoing treatment on a problem with his right knee. Barcelona said the decision to begin treatment was made after the team’s last league match before the winter break against Alaves. Asked if Ter Stegen might need surgery, Valverde said: “I don’t know, I am not a doctor, but we have not spoken about that. Our plan is that he will get better and we have not gone to that extreme.”