Earlier this week, Barcelona presented Inigo Martinez officially as their new signing, with the centre-back signing a contract at a ceremony along with president Joan Laporta, following which he spoke to the press.
During the media interaction, one of the pressing questions was the 32-year-old’s fitness condition as he is still recovering from a foot injury he sustained in April last year.
Providing an update, Martinez had said: “The fascia injury is complicated, it lasts for a while, but I’m feeling much better. I feel a big improvement. I’m taking the next steps. I was told that there was no hurry to run. That I had to recover. Good feelings and soon I hope to do things with the team.”
As such, a little under a week into pre-season training and Martinez is yet to participate in group sessions with the rest of the squad. Instead, he has been working on an individual program to recover from the injury completely.
And now, SPORT is reporting that Barcelona are in no hurry to rush Martinez back to action and risk exacerbating his condition.
Indeed, manager Xavi Hernandez and the club’s medical staff do not wish to overload the centre-back and cause any further issues. As such, his integration into the team will be slow and gradual, which means Martinez is likely to miss all the pre-season friendlies in the US.
Barça play Juventus, Arsenal, Real Madrid, and AC Milan on their tour of the US in the coming weeks. But, as things stand, the idea is for Martinez to not feature in any of those matches but start working with the group during the tour.
Ideally, the former Athletic Club defender, who underwent a minor procedure to address his injury, would make his unofficial debut for Barcelona in the Joan Gamper Trophy match against Tottenham Hotspur on August 8.
Martinez arrived at Barcelona this summer on a free transfer, signing a two-year contract until 2025.
There are no doubts about his quality and experience within the club and they wish to err on the side of caution as far as his injury is concerned. So, fans might have to wait until next month to get a glimpse of Martinez in action for the Blaugrana.