Barcelona will run out of goalkeeper Ter Stegen for the Spanish Super Cup
MADRID: Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen he will miss the derby match against Espanyol on Saturday due to injury and is unlikely to play next week's Spanish Super Cup .
"It is true that he has some problems in the tendon," said coach Ernesto Valverde in a press conference on Friday. "He will not be available tomorrow and for the Super Cup it will be difficult too. He will return after the Super Cup ."
The club had said Monday that Ter Stegen is being treated for a problem with his right knee. Barcelona said the decision to start treatment was made after the team's last league game before the winter break against Alavés.
When asked if Ter Stegen might need surgery, Valverde said: I don't know, I'm not a doctor, but we haven't talked about that. Our plan is for him to improve and we have not reached that extreme.
The absence of Ter Stegen means that Neto will probably play in the goal.
The 30-year-old signed with Valencia last summer, but only made an appearance in his new club, against Inter Milan when Barça had already qualified for the last 16 of the Champions League.
He has a great attitude, both in training every day and when he has played, Valverde said. We have no doubts about him.
Espanyol is the bottom of the league but they hope to surprise their Catalan rivals in what will be their first game with the new coach Abelardo.
They are in a difficult situation, but in a derby you play with your heart and they will try to get up, Valverde said.
Barcelona allowed 21-year-old midfielder Carles Alena to join Real Betis on loan, but Valverde said he doesn't expect any more outings in the January transfer window.
Alena left, I thought that if it happened it wasn't going to be so soon, but he had the opportunity to leave because of a clause in his contract, Valverde said.
We have one player less now, but I'm not thinking of others leaving.
Arthur Melo will also miss the match against Espanyol due to a hip injury, while Ousmane Dembele is still recovering from a hamstring problem.