Barcelona’s fitness woes continued on Saturday as Andres Iniesta suffered a knee injury in the first half of their La Liga game against Valencia.
The midfielder has damage to the lateral collateral ligament in his right knee and Barcelona confirmed after initial tests that he will be sidelined for six to eight weeks.
Iniesta hit the ground after a firm challenge from Enzo Perez and immediately signalled for a stretcher.
After being attended to by the club’s medical team for several minutes, he was carried off the pitch at the Mestalla in tears.
Barca boss Luis Enrique appeared furious with the challenge from Perez, which did not draw a booking from referee Undiano Mallenco, and he told reporters after the 3-2 win: “The worst thing was the injury to Andres. It’s a moment we’ve it seen clearly, because of how close we were, and we saw immediately that the player was injured and there was no yellow card. We’ll see how long he’s out for tomorrow, but yes, it will be a while. It’s a serious injury.”
Barca midfielder Sergio Busquets added: “Andres’ injury is a shame. It’s a dangerous place to get a knock and it can leave you out for several weeks. We hope he can recover as soon as possible.”
The Catalan club are already without defenders Gerard Pique and Jordi Alba for the coming weeks, while Arda Turan and Rafinha pulled out of the trip to Valencia with injuries sustained in training.
Backup goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen is also injured and Enrique had to delve into the B team to complete his squad this weekend, with Carles Alena called up.
But Iniesta’s injury will definitely be a big blow to the team as injuries keep piling on defensive fragilities of the team come to the fore again and again.