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Barcelona is concerned that their left-back, Alejandro Balde, may need season-ending surgery after sustaining a hamstring injury during their 4-2 defeat to Athletic Club on Wednesday.

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The 20-year-old could only manage 23 minutes on the field before leaving with apparent distress, raising immediate concerns about the severity of his injury.

Upon further examination of the suspected hamstring tear, Catalunya Radio reports that Balde has also been diagnosed with a tendon tear in his right thigh. Club officials are recommending surgery in Finland, with the recovery period estimated at four months, potentially ending Balde’s season prematurely.

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Barcelona is currently awaiting final approval from both Balde and his agent, Jorge Mendes, before scheduling the surgery and confirming the extent of his injury.

This injury poses a significant challenge for Barcelona’s manager, Xavi, who is already dealing with the absence of a senior left-back. Marcos Alonso is sidelined with a back problem expected to keep him out for at least another month. Joao Cancelo, a natural right-back, is also contending with a knee injury, leaving 17-year-old Hector Fort, another right-back, to step in for Balde against Athletic.

Although Cancelo did not see action against Athletic, his presence on the bench suggests he is nearing full readiness. Barcelona faces Villarreal on Saturday, and Xavi may need to assemble a makeshift defense to address their recent poor performances, raising questions about his future at Camp Nou.

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