Ansu Fati: Teenage forward needs to recover 'mentally' from latest injury setback

Ansu Fati, Barcelona
Ansu Fati was in tears when he was forced off with a recurrence of a hamstring injury in Barcelona's Copa del Rey defeat to Athletic Bilbao

Barcelona manager Xavi says teenager Ansu Fati needs to recovery "mentally" after being forced off with a recurrence of a hamstring injury in Thursday's Copa del Rey defeat to Athletic Bilbao.

Fati, 19, made only his second appearance since November in the 3-2 loss, but was forced off in extra time.

The Spain winger was in tears as he made his way off the pitch.

Xavi says the club will decide on Monday if Fati needs surgery.

The Barca boss, 41, added: "It is a difficult situation. We've had a meeting with the family because of this new relapse.

"We want to recover him mentally, give him love, because it's a difficult moment and we need him. We want him never to be injured again.

"We will draw up a recovery plan. On Monday we will decide what to do with Ansu Fati."

Fati has endured a torrid time with injuries since making his first-team debut as a 16-year-old in August 2019, becoming the youngest player to appear for the club since 1941.

He has undergone four operations to repair a left knee, which was damaged in November 2020. A combination of knee and hamstring injuries has restricted him to just 10 appearances in all competitions this season.

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