Ansu Fati, meniscus injury: What does the recovery process look like?

The 18-year-old faces a long spell on the sidelines - here's a breakdown of what happened to him

9:00pm on Wednesday 11th November 2020
Paul Macdonald

Barcelona star Ansu Fati underwent surgery on the torn medial meniscus of his left knee on Monday, after limping off at half-time in the home win over Real Betis.

Barcelona have confirmed that Fati has a rehabilitation period of four months ahead of him after Dr. Ramon Cugat successfully completed the operation under the supervision of the club's medical staff.

Fati has age on his side, and the body's ability to repair itself, combined with the 18-year-old's dedication, should see him make a full recovery.

But what exactly is the injury he suffered?

Fati Injury: Torn meniscus of the knee

First of all, that does meniscus mean? Well it's derived from the Greek, meaning crescent, which is the shape of the rubbery cartilage which assists the ligaments in joining the bones together and gives the knee flexibility. They act as human shock absorbers to allow your knees to take impact.

The medial meniscus is found on the inside of your knee (the lateral is on the outside). In footballers, as is the case with Fati, it most commonly tears when a player plants his foot into the ground and twists away,

We can thank the fantastic Twitter account Injury Mechanisms - please follow if you haven't already - to visualise this for us.

In contact sports such as football, injuries to the medial meniscus are more common than to the lateral meniscus. The player will complain of knee pain, swelling, and perhaps a clicking to the meniscus not operating as it should.

With medial meniscus injuries being so common in athletes the surgery to repair it is relatively straightforward, and that seems to have been the case with Fati.

In terms of the severity of the tear, the fact that it has been repaired - sewn back up - means that there was enough of the cartilage to be saved and therefore less serious than having to trim or remove it altogether.

Fati now faces rehabilitation. Once swelling has subsided post-operation, he will undergo a regime of strengthening the knee all over again to absorb impact, starting extremely slowly before building up exercises.

Fati will likely be able to commence this recovery after two weeks, and be back training within six weeks - but it will be as part of a defined, player-specific schedule before he is introduced to the group. The prognosis is good and this is not a career-impacting injury - the Spanish superstar should return to his best.


Ansu Fati: Player Stats, Career Stats, Position

Barcelona: Player Stats, Career Stats, Position

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