Xavi Hernández has set a date for the return of Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong as the Dutch midfielder gets closer to getting the medical green light to come back from an ankle injury suffered nearly two months ago.
The boss confirmed in his pre-match press conference ahead of Sunday’s clash against Alavés that De Jong will be in the squad for the first game after the international break, on November 25 away to Rayo Vallecano in the Spanish capital.
De Jong initially hoped he would be ready to return for El Clásico against Real Madrid two weeks ago, but still felt pain in his ankle and didn’t manage to make the squad. A decision was then made to act with the utmost precaution and delay his return until after the international window to give Frenkie two extra weeks of preparation, and now we have confirmation that things will indeed go according to plan.
Barça have badly missed De Jong, who was playing as well as any midfielder in Europe before his injury. The Blaugrana’s standard of play in midfield and attack has fallen off a cliff in recent games, and Frenkie’s return will help stabilize the center of the pitch and provide more creativity to the attackers as Barça look to get back to their best.