Barcelona will be without the world’s best goalkeeper for a third consecutive game as Xavi Hernández confirmed on Saturday’s pre-match press conference that the German has been ruled out of Sunday’s La Liga clash against Atlético Madrid at the Montjuïc Olympic Stadium due to his back injury.
Xavi: “Ter Stegen tested it out and he has discomfort. He is ruled out for tomorrow. He is sad that he can’t play, because he is one of the captains and is very involved. We will see next week.” #BarçaAtleti pic.twitter.com/7YPi3audgG
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) December 2, 2023
Ter Stegen pulled out of the Germany squad three weeks ago and has not yet returned to 100% and continues to feel serious discomfort with his back, even though the initial reports said the injury was not serious.
Iñaki Peña has filled in admirably as Ter Stegen’s backup and was a key contributor in the Champions League win over FC Porto in midweek, and has given the team and the fans confidence in his ability to replace MATS in the short term.
But are we getting to the point where Ter Stegen’s injury is a reason for serious concern? Back injuries are not simple and it’ll soon be a month since he’s last played, and it’ll be time to sound the alarm if he continues to miss games in the last few weeks of the year.