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Barcelona’s Sergino Dest, Ousmane Dembele ruled out in double injury blow

Barcelona defender Sergino Dest will miss the United States’ upcoming World Cup qualifiers versus Mexico and Jamaica with a back injury, sources have told ESPN, while winger Ousmane Dembele has also been ruled out for future selection.

Dest, who turned 21 this week, was due to start in Tuesday’s 1-0 win over Dynamo Kiev in the Champions League but was instead an unused substitute after picking up a knock last weekend.

Barca have confirmed that the USMNT right-back will also miss Saturday’s trip to Celta Vigo, and sources have told ESPN he will not join up with his country during the international break.

“Dest has lower back pain,” Barca said in a statement on Thursday. “He is unavailable for selection and his recovery will dictate his return.”

The USMNT face CONCACAF group leaders Mexico on Nov. 13 before travelling to Jamaica on Nov. 16 as they attempt to book their place at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Until his injury, Dest had been playing regularly for Barca this season. He has made 13 appearances in all competitions, playing as a right winger in recent weeks.

Meanwhile, Barca stated Dembele, who made his first appearance of the season this week following four months out, has injured his hamstring.

The 24-year-old came off the bench during the win in Kiev after recovering from surgery on a knee injury he picked up at Euro 2020 with France. Sources have told ESPN that Dembele played for longer than planned, with the club taking a big risk by bringing him on for the final half an hour with the game still goalless.

Forward Ansu Fati, who played for 87 minutes and scored the winning goal, and Ronald Araujo, who came on in the second half, also played for longer than the club’s medical staff had recommended after returning from injuries.

For Dembele, that has resulted in an injury, adding to a string of muscle issues since he joined Barca in 2017.

“Dembele has a strain in the semimembranosus muscle of his left hamstring,” Barca said. “He is unavailable for selection and his recovery will dictate his return.”

The club have not put a timeframe on how long the former Borussia Dortmund winger will be sidelined.

Dembele, who is out of contract next summer with negotiations ongoing over a new deal, has been limited to just 119 appearances during his four-and-a-half seasons at the club due to a range of different injuries. Interim coach Sergi Barjuan will stay in charge in Vigo this weekend as Barca finalise an agreement for Al Sadd coach Xavi Hernandez to return to the club as Ronald Koeman’s replacement.

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