Both Gerard Piqué and Sergio Busquets will arrive back at the Ciutat Esportiva for training this afternoon (19:00) with slight knocks, picked up in Spain’s friendly loss to Italy in Bari (2-1). Piqué requested a substitution right before the half owing to a sore thigh muscle and Busquets suffered a hit in the side during the second half. Both will be evaluated once back with Barça, but it is expected that they will be available for Sunday’s Super Cup clash with Madrid.
After an initial examination by the medical services of the Real Federación Española de Fútbol (RFEF), serious injuries in both cases were ruled out and everything indicates that the two blaugrana players will have no problems playing in Sunday’s away game at the Santiago Bernabéu against Real Madrid (22:00), provided that Pep Guardiola considers their inclusion appropriate.
Piqué, who like Iniesta started against Italy, asked for the substitution just before halftime after feeling some pain in the muscles of his right thigh. He raised his hand to alert the bench, and then sat down on the pitch as he waited for the medical attendants. For a moment, a more serious injury seemed likely, but fortunately it was just a momentary scare. Today, the medical services of FC Barcelona will also examine the defender to determine exactly the extent of the knock and any possible treatment so that Pique arrives to the first clásico of the 2011-12 season in the best possible condition.
Pique’s emergency replacement in the match was Sergio Busquets, whom Vicente del Bosque had left on the bench at the start of the match between the last two World Cup Champions. The midfield player of Badia del Vallès again showed his versatility, playing the final minute of the first half in the center of defense, and moving out to the right in the second half following an injury to Iraola. As always, the player acquitted himself well, maintaining all his usual characteristics while also keeping a hold on Balotelli’s runs, with sparks flying between the two players at times.
In one of those collisions, Busquets suffered a blow in the side, after which the player had to be carried off the field and treated on the sideline. Then, after the match, the player noted some pain, and although it seems he may only have some bruising, the midfielder will also be examined by the medical staff to clear up any doubts as to his physical state.
With Puyol still in the final phase of his recovery and Maxwell suffering from some abdominal discomfort that started at the end of the US tour, the potential unavailability of Pique and Sergio Busquets could mean a serious defensive problem for Pep Guardiola, who might also have to do without Dani Alves as the right back has not yet trained with the group this summer. Nevertheless, the fact that the Alves played ninety minutes with the Brazil national team against Germany indicates that the right back is fit and willing to participate in the clásico. All things considered, Pep will listen to the doctors.
Source: Mundo Deportivo; Image: Reuters Pictures