Barcelona expect teenagers Pedri and Ansu Fati to make their returns from injury against Mallorca on January 2 – the first game after their winter break.
Midfielder Pedri has been out since the end of November with a thigh problem and has generally struggled to find fitness after an extremely busy 2020/21 season.
Fati, meanwhile, missed most of last campaign and has made sporadic appearances this year, but has had fresh issues with his hamstring in recent weeks.
Mundo Deportivo report that Barça are expecting to be able to welcome the pair back for their first La Liga game of 2022 in a trip to Mallorca on January 2.
Pedri – who recently won France Football’s Kopa Trophy and Tuttosport’s Golden Boy award – has made great progress in his recovery but still needs to continue his rehabilitation at his current rate in order to be fit in time for that fixture, while Barcelona resisted the urge to rush Fati back before the winter break.
Barcelona’s season had already been ravaged by injuries even before Sergio Aguero announced his retirement following a diagnosis of a heart condition on Wednesday.
A poor start to the campaign following the departure of Lionel Messi led to the sacking of head coach Ronald Koeman, who was replaced in the dugout by Xavi.
The former midfielder has even splits across his first six games in charge at Camp Nou, winning two, drawing two and losing two.