Barcelona-based orthropaedic surgeon Dr. Ramon Cugat spoke to Catalan radio station Ona FM on the recovery of Ibrahim Afellay, Andreu Fontàs, and David Villa, whom all appear to be well on their way to full match fitness.
Villa, who recently climbed La Mola, a 3,000-foot mountain outside Barcelona, broke his leg in Barcelona’s Club World Cup semifinal victory over Al Sadd Sports Club and has remained out of action since December.
Cugat spoke optimistically about the striker and said Villa “is progressing very well. The tibia can be operated on, but that decision must be made by the player. We have seen that (Villa) has made a very good call. He has good range of mobility and good muscle tone. He’s lacking a bit more calcification, but he is doing fine.”
Cugat wanted to avoid taking all the credit for Villa’s recovery by saying, “I try not to get involved. It’s the player himself who decides when he can play again. We can not rush it. The one who makes the ultimate decision is the club’s physical therapist Emili Ricart who works day in and day out.”
Regarding the nearly complete recovery of Ibrahim Afellay, who just received his clearance to play, Cugat said the attacking midfielder will be ready as soon as Pep Guardiola decides to throw him in.
“Afellay’s recovery has been very good. Yesterday we saw he was in excellent shape and we decided to give him his medical clearance. He feels great and has been training with the squad for three weeks now. When the technical staff needs him, he will be ready to play,” Cugat said.
The surgeon also touched on the recovery of Fontàs, who is optimistic and training hard.
“He is lively and in a very good mood,” Cugat said. “He is working very well throughout the mornings and afternoons very consistently.”
Cugat pointed out that the defender’s anterior cruciate ligament injury is a common occurrence.
“An ACL injury is a constant recovery that lasts until we see the knee is stable,” Cugat said. “The Barcelona physical therapists are the ones that set the tone of recovery.”
Fontàs, who was injured following a heavy challenge in the Copa del Rey match against Osasuna in January, is expected to be out for the rest of the season.
Source: Ona.fm / Image: Ignasi Paredes