• Ronald Araujo is a vital part of Xavi's Barcelona
  • Araujo has been at Barcelona since 2018
  • Barcelona are currently second in the La Liga table

FC Barcelona defender Ronald Araujo will undergo surgery next week and could miss the FIFA World Cup with Uruguay.

Araujo sustained a thigh injury during a friendly game against Iran. Barcelona have confirmed that the center-back will require surgery, meaning he is doubtful for the World Cup, which is due to begin on Nov. 20 in Qatar. Uruguay are in Group H, along with Portugal, Ghana and South Korea.

"Ronald Araujo will undergo surgery on Wednesday for the adductor longus tendon avulsion he has in his right thigh. The operation will be carried out by Dr. Lasse Lempainen, under the supervision of the Club's medical staff, in Turku, Finland," Barcelona said in a statement.

Araujo's injury is certainly a massive setback for Barcelona's 2022-23 campaign. Having been with the senior team for nearly four seasons, the center-back has become a vital cog in the side, especially since Xavi Hernandez took over the charge last term.

The 23-year-old first moved to Barcelona as a "B" player and with consistent performances, he forced himself into the senior side. He made his first-team debut in the 2019-20 season and had six appearances for the Catalans. Araujo became a regular in the senior team from the subsequent campaign.

The ongoing international break has proved to be costly for Barcelona head coach Xavi, with Jules Kounde, Memphis Depay, Araujo and Frenkie de Jong all returning early from their national teams after picking up injuries.

Depay and De Jong, who were recently seen with Netherlands national team in the Nations League, have picked up a hamstring injury, Barcelona confirmed in an official release. It also hinted that the former's injury is more serious.

"Striker Memphis has an injury to the biceps femoris muscle in his left thigh. He is not available for selection and his recovery will dictate his return," Barcelona wrote in the release.

Frenkie de Jong, Barcelona
FC Barcelona are second in La Liga 2022-23 as of now. Fran Santiago/Getty Images

The duo played in Netherlands' 2-0 win over Poland, but missed their game against Belgium. Dutch center-back Virgil van Dijk scored in his side's 1-0 win, which led them to the semi-final of the Nations League.

Another center-back, Kounde, has been ruled out of action for at least four to five weeks due to a biceps femoris injury in his left hamstring.

Barcelona will be without two key center-backs – Kounde and Araujo – along with Depay for their upcoming El Classico against Real Madrid, which is scheduled to take place on Oct. 16 at Santiago Bernabeu.

The Catalans will return to action on Oct. 1 after the international break as they take on Mallorca in an away league fixture. Xavi's side is currently placed second in the La Liga with 16 points, two behind leaders Real Madrid.