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Barcelona send Umtiti to Doha for knee fix

Atletico Madrid forward Diego Costa in a tangle with Barcelona’s Samuel Umtiti © AFP / OSCAR DEL POZO

BARCELONA, Spain, Nov 30 – Key Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti will fly out to Doha for specialised treatment on a recurring left knee injury, the Spanish champions said on Friday.

Umtiti is said to be keen to avoid going under the knife and is seeking a softer solution.

Considered one of the best centre-backs in the world, the left-footed Frenchman has played just eight games for Barcelona this season because of the recurring pain in his knee.

The 2018 World Cup winner played in the 1-1 draw with Atletico Madrid at the weekend but that was his first game in almost two months due to the pain which returned after the bruising game in Madrid.

“Samuel Umtiti will follow a plan of conservative treatment with the objective of curing the discomfort in his left knee,” Barce reported on their website Friday.

“The player will travel to Doha, Qatar where he will follow this therapeutic plan under the supervision of the club’s medical services.”

Catalan sports daily Sport said Umtiti “would not play again in 2018”, claiming he would stay in Doha several weeks.

Another sports daily Mundo Deportivo said the player and club wished to avoid surgery in the search for a solution to the pain.

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