Barcelona left-back Jordi Alba is not believed to have picked up a serious muscle injury in Saturday’s 3-1 win over Villarreal.
The 32-year-old had been playing with a muscle problem for a while and that appeared to catch up with him against Villarreal as he sank to the turf with 20 minutes to go and had to limp off down the tunnel. He had asked to be replaced ten minutes earlier but Xavi took the risk to keep him on.
Fortunately for Xavi, AS state that Alba was simply suffering from a muscle contusion (or a ‘sandwich’, as the Spanish call it). It was seriously painful at the time but is not expected to cause any real damage.
The left-back is not expected to miss any games and will instead be put on a steady diet of anti-inflammatories to manage the discomfort while he prepares for Saturday’s meeting with Real Betis.
After the game, Xavi admitted that Alba’s bravery and determination should serve as an example to everyone else at Barcelona.
“He made a brutal effort because he continued despite the discomfort in the second half,” Xavi said (via Marca). “He is an example, like the rest of the team captains.
“I am moved by how they have acted since I arrived.”
Club doctor Xavi Valle had a busy debut. On top of Alba, he also had to work with centre-backs Ronald Araujo and Gerard Pique, while midfielder Sergio Busquets needed treatment after a nasty challenge from Dani Parejo after just a few seconds.
The trio, like Alba, are expected to have emerged unscathed, meaning Xavi should have no extra fitness issues to deal with ahead of the Betis game.
The victory saw Barcelona climb up to seventh in the La Liga standings, seven points behind leaders Real Madrid having played a game more.