The former Argentina national team doctor has told Spanish radio that the injury to Lionel Messi’s foot could have been avoided if Barcelona had operated on the player before the start of the season. Donato Villani claims that he advised the club to operate on the dodgy metatarsal straight after the world cup in Germany this summer.
Messi will now miss at least three months of the season after breaking his fifth metatarsal bone in his foot, playing against Zaragoza at the Nou Camp on Sunday.
However, the Argentine doctor insists “"When the World Cup finished, I told the Barcelona staff that the best thing to do would be to operate on Messi before he gets a proper fracture”
"It is not the same thing, to put a screw on a healthy bone rather than on a fractured bone, the recovery changes."
Barcelona will be hoping that the operation this week will prevent a reoccurrence of the injury, and the Argentine Doctor concurs “If he makes a good recovery, he will not suffer it again. It is a normal injury among players because they work hard from a young age."
Meanwhile, Barcelona have ruled out making a move in the January transfer market in order to relieve the injury crisis at the club. Without Samuel Eto’o the team have failed to function in the same way as they did last season and Messi’s and Saviola’s injuries are a further blow to Rijkaard’s plans. However, the club insists it will not be forced into signings until it believes they are the right players for the club and will not be dictated to by circumstance.
Subsequently there have been rumours that Mexican wonder kid Giovanni Dos Santos would be promoted to the senior squad as cover in attack. However, Txiki Begiristain today ruled out the idea, stating “It is very important for the player that he continues to develop with the youth team. If we promote him to the first team he will not be getting the experience he needs at this stage of his development as a player”.
This approach is to be applauded and it would not be the first time that the club have waited patiently for a young superstar to develop, unleashing him on La Liga when they feel the time is right for him and not before. That player’s name – Messi.