On a day that Barcelona got Lionel Messi back from a knee injury, it lost another star after Cesc Fabregas went down with an ugly thigh injury.
UPDATE: Wednesday, Jan. 2 at 1:15 p.m. ET by Ben Chodos
Cesc Fabregas is nearing a return to the pitch after recovering from his thigh injury.
Barcastuff reported the following via Twitter:
Official: Cesc (thigh) and Song (knee) have rejoined the group on training this evening #fcblive— barcastuff (@barcastuff) January 2, 2013
The midfield maestro will still need to get fit again, but this an extremely positive sign for Barcelona.
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The news comes from Barca's official Twitter account:
Cesc has torn the biceps femoris in his left thigh. He'll be out of action for three to four weeks. #FCBLive— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) December 9, 2012
This is a tough blow for Barca, which escaped with a 2-1 victory over Real Betis after Fabregas left in the 10th minute with the injury.
Tito Vilanova obviously has the talent to tread water without the 25-year-old Spaniard.
Messi, who broke Gerd Muller's 40-year record for goals in a calender year on Sunday, is sort of talented. He, along with players such as Xavi, Jordi Alba and Andres Iniesta, will help carry the load in Fabregas' absence.
Besides, it was Alexis Sanchez, a young budding superstar, who replaced Fabregas in the lineup. Most squads would kill to have a player like Sanchez as a backup option.
Nonetheless, it's hard to replace someone like Fabregas.
In 15 appearances so far this year in La Liga, he has five goals and a ridiculous nine assists. He has completed just under 70 passes per match at an 89 percent success rate.
Messi rightfully gets an excess of attention on this team, but Fabregas is the engine that makes the attack go.
It's hard to call anyone on this team indispensable because of the sheer amount of talent, but Fabregas is undoubtedly one of the most crucial players for Vilanova's success in Spain this season.
We'll be sure to keep you updated on his status as more becomes known.