Sat, 02 Dec 2023

MADRID, Sept. 26 (Xinhua) -- FC Barcelona's Uruguayan defender Ronald Araujo is in danger of missing the World Cup finals after suffering a serious groin injury last Friday.

The 23-year-old mainstay of Barca defense tore his right abductor muscle and also suffered ligament damage just seconds into Uruguay's friendly game with Iran.

The defender was given two options to deal with the injury: a conservative treatment or an operation in Finland, and he has opted for the operation.

The main question now is whether he will be able to recover to form part of the Uruguayan side that kicks off its World Cup campaign against South Korea on November 24.

Although there is no set date for his possible return, the usual recovery time is at least eight weeks and perhaps up to three months, meaning Araujo's place in the Uruguayan squad is very much up in the air.

Uruguay coach Diego Alonso doesn't have to name his squad for the finals until November 13 and will give the defender every chance of recovering, but even if he is in condition to be included in the squad, Araujo will still be short of match fitness for what looks like a difficult group that also includes Portugal and Ghana.

The current round of World Cup friendlies isn't kind to Barca, who also lost Memphis Depay to an injury he suffered playing for the Netherlands, while Frenkie de Jong also needs a scan on a muscle problem he picked up on international duty.

Jules Kounde also suffered a hamstring injury while playing with France, and is unlikely to be able to play against Mallorca this Saturday or in the vital Champions League visit to Inter Milan on October 4.

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