Uruguayan defender Ronald Araujo is in danger of missing the World Cup after his club, Barcelona, said yesterday he would undergo surgery on a torn thigh muscle. The centre-back is likely to be sidelined for between two and three months, according to reports in Spain. That would probably rule him out of the tournament in Qatar, which starts on November 20.
The Uruguayan sustained the injury in the first minute of a friendly with his country last week against Iran and has opted for surgery as opposed to more conservative treatment. Araujo met Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez and the club’s medical staff yesterday to discuss the best course of action. “The operation will be undertaken by doctor, under the supervision of club medical services, in Turku, Finland,” said Barcelona. “Once the operation is complete a new medical statement will be made.”
Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti made the opposite decision in a similar situation in 2018, and became a world champion with France, but has been hampered since. The surgery also rules Araujo out of key club games, including the rest of the Champions League group phase and the Clasico on October 16.
Araujo’s injury means he joins Jules Kounde on the sidelines at Camp Nou, after the French centre-back suffered a hamstring injury on international duty.
Barcelona also confirmed yesterday that Dutch duo Frenkie de Jong and Memphis Depay both had hamstring problems sustained in the Netherlands’ 2-0 win over Poland last week.