BARCELONA — Ernesto Valverde appears resigned to the very fact Andres Iniesta should miss the occasional sport in an effort to keep away from selecting up any long-term accidents.
Iniesta, 33, was an unused substitute throughout Sunday’s comeback win in opposition to Actual Sociedad — Barcelona’s first league win at Anoeta since 2007 — and the membership confirmed on Monday that the midfielder is affected by a minor calf downside.
In whole, Iniesta has made 21 appearances this marketing campaign however he has more and more suffered minor muscular accidents over the past two seasons.
Valverde has been compelled to go away him out of six video games this season, not together with the choice to not danger him in opposition to La Actual on the weekend, as a consequence of three completely different niggling accidents.
“I would love everybody to be match and for Andres to not have small issues, however it’s what it’s,” Valverde stated in a information convention on the eve of the Copa del Rey quarterfinal first leg in opposition to metropolis rivals Espanyol.
“[Iniesta] has not missed many video games, however he is a participant we now have to care for. He takes care of himself and these little issues, like this newest one, aren’t an excessive amount of of an issue for his type.
“However he is aware of learn how to take care of himself and what we attempt to do is keep away from any tears which might hold him out for months.”
Iniesta is not the one participant set to overlook Wednesday’s derby at Estadi Cornella-El Prat, with Philippe Coutinho, Ousmane Dembele, Paco Alcacer and Samuel Umtiti all lacking with varied knocks.
Within the case of Dembele, who had simply returned from a four-month layoff, the France ahead might be out for one more month after injuring his hamstring throughout the win in opposition to Actual Sociedad.
“The preliminary concept was to introduce him slowly and now that should be the identical concept when he is again,” Valverde lamented after dropping the €145 million summer time signing for a second time this season.
“These items can occur whenever you’re getting back from a long-term damage. It was a critical damage. This time it is one other smaller, completely different downside, but it surely’s not removed from the earlier damage.
“We’re not going to make an enormous deal of it. It is simply one other a part of the job, one other issue and one thing to resolve — hopefully, it finally ends up being an anecdote.”
In higher information, Valverde did reveal that Umtiti is making good progress and might be again “quickly,” though he is not going to be out there for the brief journey throughout Barcelona to Espanyol.
There might be no debut for brand spanking new signing Yerry Mina, both. Valverde stated that the defender’s registration, following his signing from Palmeiras final week, has nonetheless not been finalised.
Valverde additionally trotted out the previous cliche that “type goes out the window” when Barca meet Espanyol within the first of three Catalan derbies in 19 days on Wednesday (they meet within the return leg at Camp Nou subsequent Thursday and within the league at Espanyol on Feb. four).
“Espanyol are in good type proper now, the statistics are a testomony to that,” Valverde warned.
“They’re having certainly one of their greatest spells of the season. They’re unbeaten in 4 within the league and produced an excellent comeback within the final spherical of the cup. Then there’s the very fact it is a derby… so the gap within the league counts for nothing as a result of it’s a must to add within the emotional issue.
“We’re away from house, too. A cup sport’s about not making errors as a result of they’ll price you dearly. We should be switched on if we wish to attain the semifinal.”
Samuel Marsden covers Barcelona for ESPN FC. Observe him on Twitter @SamuelMarsden.