Four-time Champions League winner Barcelona has been dealt a blow in the lead-up to its round-of-16 clash with AC Milan. Spanish forward David Villa has ruled himself out of the clash. Villa's absence comes after the 31-year-old was hospitalized with kidney stones earlier this month.
In an interview leading up to the much anticipated tie, Villa revealed on twitter (via Goal.com) that he would not travel to Milan, choosing to fully recover from the operation to remove the stones.
"Today I returned to train with my team-mates, but after the colic of last week I am still not 100%. So we have decided to stay in Barcelona and train hard these two days! Thank you to everyone!"
Since joining Barcelona in 2010 it is fair to say that Villa has become one of the unluckiest players, injury-wise in World Football. El Guaje has been sidelined with a broken leg, thigh and ankle problems in just the last three years. A broken leg in the 2011 Club World Cup ensured that the Barcelona striker miss the entire 2011-12 season—despite only receiving a six month prognosis.
Villa's issue with kidney stones developed after Barcelona dispatched Getafe 6-1 in the La Liga.
For Villa, there is no doubting he will return to first-team action, but this was certainly a setback he of all people could've done without. Personally, I am certain he will return to his best, he is a class act and Barcelona will reap the rewards for their patience.
The remainder of the Barcelona squad will travel to Milan to face Massimo Allegri's side at the San Siro in their bid to reach the quarter finals.