Barcelona’s Marc-Andre ter Stegen to have lower back surgery this week, expressing frustration over being sidelined but calling it a necessary decision for his safety

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Marc-Andre ter Stegen is set to undergo surgery on a lumbar issue that has seen him miss Barcelona’s last two league matches and their Champions League tie against FC Porto. 

The 31-year-old withdrew from the Germany squad during the last international break due to the problem, after he has been ruled out since November 12. 

In his place, Barcelona have opted to play 24-year-old Inaki Pena who has helped the under-pressure side secure victories against Porto and Atletico Madrid and a draw against Rayo Vallecano. 

The Athletic had claimed that Ter Stegen would test himself ahead of the Blaugrana’s match against Girona on Sunday, but it appears a decision has been made for him to undergo surgery to remedy the injury and there is no official update from the club on when he could potentially return. 

In a statement issued on Tuesday, the club said: ‘First team player Marc ter Stegen will undergo a surgical procedure this week to address the lower back issues he is experiencing. Following the procedure, a new statement will be given.’

Marc Andre-ter Stegen will undergo surgery on a back injury that has kept him sidelined since November

The Barcelona shot-stopper admitted he was 'annoyed' about the decision on his Instagram

The Barcelona shot-stopper admitted he was ‘annoyed’ about the decision on his Instagram

Ter Stegen also missed out on playing for Germany during the international break but added 'I'm coming back soon!'

Ter Stegen also missed out on playing for Germany during the international break but added ‘I’m coming back soon!’

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Ter Stegen, who joined the club in 2014 from Borussia Mönchengladbach, has made 17 appearances between the sticks for the club so far this season across all competitions also taking the captain’s armband for many of those games. 

‘The break obviously annoys me,’ Ter Stegen wrote on his Instagram.

‘It is the right and safe decision in order to come back in the best conditions for my club Barcelona and national team Germany.’

He posted a separate post claiming that he was disappointed that he was unable to play for Germany during the international break.

‘I’m really disappointed that I wasn’t able to play the last two games for Germany,’ he wrote.

‘Yesterday I made the decision not to play against Rayo. I’m coming back soon!’

While uncertainty remains over when he will be back, according to Fabrizio Romano, the goalkeeper will be ruled out for the remainder of 2023. 

It will come as a blow for Xavi's side who have come under some pressure in recent weeks

It will come as a blow for Xavi’s side who have come under some pressure in recent weeks 

Yet, replacement Inaki Pena has stepped in to take the gloves off Ter Stegen and has impressed

Yet, replacement Inaki Pena has stepped in to take the gloves off Ter Stegen and has impressed

But he will be on a tight recovery timeline, with Barcelona likely to be back in Champions League action in February, with the Blaugarana currently top of Group H, poised to qualify. 

Barcelona are under pressure to turn around a recent run of results that has seen them drop off the pace of Real Madrid and Girona, with four points separating them and the Catalan side. 

Yet, Xavi has entrusted young star, Pena in net in place of Ter Stegen, lauding the back-up shot stopper for his professionalism. 

‘Inaki Pena is such an example. He trains hard and that’s why he performs the way he does. He gets ten out of ten for some extraordinary saves,’ Xavi said. 

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