«I will try to be against Real Madrid. I go step by step. I will try to recover as soon as possible, but not because it is Real Madrid. My goal is to get to the classic fully recovered. That’s the idea. I want to join the group as soon as possible », Gerard Piqué assured, slightly optimistic, a week ago. However, the good sensations in his right knee have given way to some uneasiness when verifying that his lateral ligament sprain of the joint does not evolve as expected. So much so that a slight blanket of discouragement seems to have covered Barça fans in recent days. On Saturday he wanted to try the group but he did not feel comfortable and the discomfort he suffered forced him to stop, feelings similar to those of the following days. On Tuesday he even exercised outside the team and yesterday attended a voluntary session with the intention of advancing his recovery. Today it will be tested again together with his colleagues but the slogan is clear: zero risk.
Although there has been speculation with the possibility that Piqué infiltrated, neither the player nor the coaching staff are in favor of taking risks. Precipitating their return can be counterproductive and we must not forget that the team has been responding well so far (it has six consecutive victories in the League) and that next week awaits the Cup final against Athletic. «Piqué and Sergi Roberto are training with the team. These are decisions that we will make tomorrow morning. We will not risk, not only for the classic, but for any game, “said the coach before the game against Valladolid, faithful to his methodology. The Dutch coach wants to avoid situations like the one he recently starred in Ronald Araújo, who was injured against Sevilla when he had been on the pitch for 14 minutes and was returning after three games out due to a grade two sprain to his left ankle.
Piqué was injured for the first time this season on November 21 at the Wanda Metropolitano. His grade three sprain of the medial ligament was added a anterior cruciate injury that was very close to taking him to the operating room. The center-back dodged it to reappear three months and 23 games later. The doubts about the precipitation in his return planned when he suffered five games later, during the return of the Cup semifinal against Sevilla. He played the 120 minutes, scored the goal that forced the extension and ended up limping ostensibly. Of all this a month ago.
39 classics played
With 39 classics behind him, his participation next Saturday is seriously endangered, although he has some chance more than Sergio Ramos, which has already been ruled out by Zidane. The Madrid central player accumulates 45 matches of maximum rivalry, so he will reach him Messi, becoming the two players who have played the most games in the history of the classics. Manolo Sanchís has 43, Xavi and Gento, 42 and Busquets, 39. Without Piqué, Koeman should choose to keep De Jong together with Mingueza and Lenglet, or bet on Araujo recovered from his ankle injury and that adds 77 minutes in the last three games that have been played. The entry of the Uruguayan would return the Dutchman to his usual position, in which he has achieved six goals and six assists and, presumably, would mean Griezmann’s sacrifice in the starting eleven.