FC Barcelona’s depth at the goalkeeper position was dealt a blow after backup goalie Neto suffered a fractured wrist in practice over the weekend.
The Brazilian keeper fractured the scaphoid bone in his left wrist during Barcelona’s morning training session prior to their final preseason game of the year against Napoli in Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA. Team doctors have determined that he will have to undergo surgery in order to fix the damage, which will shelve him for at least the first month of the La Liga season.
Neto was brought to Barcelona from Valencia during the offseason in a $39 million move. He is expected to serve as the backup to world-class goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen, who is healthy and fit for the start of the season.
It is yet to be determined which goalie Barcelona will use as ter Stegen’s backup during Neto’s absence, but signs point to Iñaki Peña of Barcelona B serving in that role for at least the first few weeks of the 2019-20 campaign.
Barcelona is due to open its season on Friday night at San Mamés against Athletic Bilbao. They’ll cross their fingers and hope that ter Stegen is able to remain healthy, avoiding a potential goalkeeping catastrophe.