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Dest sidelined for Barcelona with thigh injury


`Sergino Dest’s return from a thigh injury didn’t last very long, and after just one match back, the American fullback is sidelined once again with the same right leg issue.

The 20-year-old has been ruled out of Barcelona’s Copa Del Rey semifinal first leg trip to Sevilla on Wednesday. Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman will now give Dest a break in hopes of getting him back to full fitness ahead of the return of UEFA Champions League play this month.

“Sergino is a case where we have tried and he has trained but he has always continued to have minor injuries in his right leg,” Koeman said in a press conference Monday. “So we said, ‘look you’re going to rest now and you have to wait until you’re 100 percent.’ This might be for Saturday, or it will be against Paris [Saint-Germain].”

Dest has totaled 21 appearances for Barcelona this season in all competitions, scoring one goal and adding one assist. Following his move from Ajax, the U.S. Men’s National Team star has featured at both full back positions in Koeman’s squad, most recently playing 63 minutes in Barcelona’s 5-3 extra time win over Granada on February 3rd.

The Catalan club has been without several defensive players this season with Gerard Pique, Ronald Araujo, and Sergi Roberto among the recent absentees. Dest’s absence creates another problem for Koeman coming into matches against Sevilla and Alaves over the next four days, but the Dutchman will hope to have his American full back for a home clash with Paris Saint-Germain on February 16th.

“The injuries are there because several players are not well physically,” Koeman said. “This isn’t the time to take more risks. I think there are eight or nine [total] players that are not available, but for any problem there is a solution.”

Dest will miss Wednesday’s trip to Sevilla, but his international and club teammate Konrad De La Fuente has been recalled to the first team. The 19-year-old winger has totaled 26 minutes for the first team this season, appearing in both the Champions League and Copa Del Rey.

Barcelona is riding a six-match unbeaten run in all competitions, but still remains eight points out of the top spot in La Liga.

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