Barcelona midfielder Rafinha begins his long road to recovery on Tuesday as he goes under the knife to repair his torn ACL suffered in last week’s Champions League draw with Roma.
In the 61st minute of last Wednesday’s match, Rafinha came in for Ivan Rakitic, but it took only a minute for Radja Nainggolan to tackle the Brazilian form behind and leave the 22-year-old in a crumpled heap on the pitch, writhing in obvious pain.
Rafinha was then stretchered off the pitch by the club’s medical staff and was replaced by Mascherano, where soon after he underwent a series of tests in the dressing room and was seen leaving on crutches as the team flew back to Barcelona.
The La Masia graduate underwent a series of tests on the following Thursday morning to determine the extent of the injury, which confirmed Barcelona’s worst possible fears: an anterior cruciate ligament tear.
Barcelona made the announcement that the promising young Brazilian international would miss the remainder of the 2015-16 season as he begins the lengthy recovery process.
“Tests this morning have revealed that FC Barcelona midfielder Rafael Alcántara — also known as ‘Rafinha’ — has suffered a tear to the anterior cruciate ligament in his right leg. He will undergo surgery in the coming days.”
Rafinha was honoured by teammates Marc Bartra and Neymar, who dedicated their goals in Barcelona’s 4-1 win over Levante at the weekend to the Brazilian.
On Monday, Barcelona confirmed that the former Celta Vigo star would undergo surgery to repair the injured ACL, with the operations being carried out by world-renowned surgeons Dr. Ramon Cugat and Dr. Ricard Pruna, with the medical staff set to release a statement later that day to summarize the operation and confirm the player’s recovery time.
Rafinha has been invaluable to Luis Enrique this season, even starting over Leo Messi in last weekend’s win over Atletico Madrid, but the player will be ruled out for the remainder of 2015, where he will leave the squad without a replacement until Arda Turan can officially register in January, should Barcelona’s request to register the Turkish international as an emergency replacement, be denied by the RFEF and FIFA.