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The 18-year-old forward, who is held in the highest regard at Camp Nou, has been struggling to recover from ligament damage

Ansu Fati is set to undergo a second knee operation at Barcelona, with the 18-year-old seeing his 2020-21 campaign brought to a close and European Championship dreams dashed.

The talented teenager, who topped the 2021 Goal NXGN chart, first went under the knife back in November but has failed to recover as hoped from ligament damage.

Mundo Deportivo were the first to report that Fati must pay another visit to the operating table and Goal can confirm that plans are in place for that to happen next week, possibly on Thursday, May 13.

Who will operate on Fati?

Renowned surgeon Dr Ramon Cugat saw Fati after he broke down early in the season, but it is now understood that he will be visiting the team doctor of the Portugal national side.

He is also due to meet with Dr Antonio Maestro, who lives in Gijon, and Dr Bertrand Sonnery-Cottet, a knee specialist based in Lyon.

Barca have accepted that further medical assistance is required as Fati’s rehabilitation has not progressed as planned and he remains stuck on the sidelines with no return date in sight.

When was Fati supposed to return?

Fati underwent knee surgery back on November 8, 2020 and was discharged from hospital a couple of weeks later.

His recovery was expected to take around four months, allowing him to step back into the fold under Ronald Koeman as major honours were chased down at home and abroad.

It became clear, though, from January that Fati was going to be in no position to return and another visit was paid to Dr Cugat, with “medical intervention” being sought rather than another operation.

Fati’s left knee has, however, remained problematic and an outing against Real Betis on November 7 – when he had to be replaced by Lionel Messi at half-time – represents the last time he saw competitive action.

How long will Fati be out for?

Having already been sidelined for six months, Fati is still facing a long road to recovery.

His 2020-21 season has been written off, while there will be no role for him with Spain at this summer’s European Championship.

The hope is that Fati will come back into contention for club and country early in 2021-22, with Barca and Spain having high hopes for the youngster.

Those at Camp Nou will hope to be in a position by then to start chasing down more silverware, while Luis Enrique and La Roja have the UEFA Nations League Finals to take in from October 6.

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