BARCELONA, Spain — Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-André ter Stegen needs back surgery and could lose his starting spot with Germany's national team ahead of the European Championship.
Barcelona said Tuesday Ter Stegen will undergo a surgical procedure to address lower back issues that have been bothering him recently. The Catalan club did not say for how long he is expected to be sidelined.
Ter Stegen played in eight of Germany’s first nine games in 2023 after regular starter Manuel Neuer broke his leg in December 2022 while on a ski trip following the World Cup. Neuer is fit again and playing regularly with Bayern Munich.
Ter Stegen has played 38 games for Germany over 11 years but has always been seen as Neuer’s backup. Ter Stegen is yet to play a single game at a World Cup or European Championship. Germany will host Euro 2024.
Kevin Trapp played Germany’s two friendlies last month with Ter Stegen injured. Neuer made his comeback for Bayern on Nov. 1 and has played all seven of the club’s games in all competitions since then, with no sign of any fitness issues.
The 31-year-old Ter Stegen missed Spanish league games against Rayo Vallecano and Atletico Madrid, as well as Barcelona's Champions League match against Porto. He has played in 17 games with the club this season, with eight clean sheets and 15 goals conceded.
Iñaki Peña has been Ter Stegen's replacement at Barcelona. He made key saves in the team's 1-0 win against Atletico on Sunday.