Thiago has been out since April with the hip injury that ended his 2023/24 season prematurely and is currently still not training fully with the first team.
It is now six months since Thiago‘s surgery and seven since he last played.
The midfielder did travel with the squad for the pre-season tour of Germany, but missed the trip to Singapore later in the summer and featured in none of the friendlies.
Various setbacks have prevented him from making a return this season, with Lijnders conceding that his absence is being felt throughout the dressing room and on the pitch.
“Can you imagine our midfield, our new players, then they have Thiago Alcantara in the middle as well? Guiding the others, his experience, the way he passes, the way he moves.
“We really miss him, but he will take time. He will not be available. I text him three days ago, because it was 50 years since Cruyff made his debut for Barca.
“I said ‘Holland and Barca will be forever connected’. He’s an unbelievable professional, unbelievable guy. We hope to get him back soon.”
Thiago is not the only Spanish midfielder who has been consigned to a lengthy spell on the sidelines, with Stefan Bajcetic having registered just 72 senior minutes since sustaining an adductor injury back in March.
Lijnders added that the 18-year-old remains unavailable, but did express his delight at being able to welcome Curtis Jones back into the domestic fold following his three-game ban.
He continued: “Stefan not available. Curtis, yeah, he trained yesterday, and how Curtis is, full of energy. Really happy how he’s playing for the team and that he’s available.”