Barcelona and USMNT right back Sergino Dest is set for a spell on the sidelines.
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Dest, 20, has been in and out of the Barca team throughout his debut season in Spain and has played at both right back and left back for the Catalan giants.
Ronald Koeman confirmed that Dest will not play for Barcelona in their Copa del Rey semifinal first leg at Sevilla on Wednesday due to a thigh injury.
“Sergino is a case where we have tried and he has trained but he has always continued to have minor injuries in his right leg,” Koeman said. “So we said, ‘look you’re going to rest now and you have to wait until you’re 100 percent.’ This might be for Saturday, or it will be against Paris [Saint-Germain].”
How long will Dest be out for?
With Barcelona suffering several defensive injuries in recent weeks, it is far from ideal for Koeman to leave Dest out.
But it feels like he is resting Dest with the Paris Saint-Germain game in the UEFA Champions League in mind.
“The injuries are there because several players are not well physically. This isn’t the time to take more risks. I think there are eight or nine players that are not available, but for any problem there is a solution,” Koeman confirmed.
Barca are currently missing Ronald Araujo, Gerard Pique, Araujo, Dest, Miralem Pjanic, Martin Braithwaite, Sergi Roberto, Moussa Wague, Philippe Coutinho and Ansu Fati.
With Pique and Araujo out injured, Koeman’s biggest problem is finding a center back. The last thing he needs is one of his full backs, Dest, out too. Frenkie de Jong could play at center back, or other players could be moved around so they don’t lose the player who has been key in their recent resurgence.
Barcelona will be eyeing the Copa del Rey and Champions League as their main route to glory, as they sit eight points behind La Liga leaders Atletico Madrid who also have a game in-hand.
Dest will be keen to return as quick as possible, but it appears that Koeman will only allow that when he’s 100 percent healthy.