Barcelona loses crucial star to injury just few days before Champions League clash with Chelsea

The fitness of Gerard Pique has become a point of concern after the centre-back picked up a knee problem towards the end of Barcelona’s 1-1 draw with Espanyol.

Barcelona defender Gerard Pique has eased fears that he could be set for a month on the sidelines after the tests revealed that his knee injury is not as bad as it was feared. Gerard Pique’s grandfather Amador Bernabeu has confirmed that the Barcelona defender could be available for selection again in around eight to ten days.

Gerard Pique Will Be Sidelined For 8-10 Days.

As a result of the minor injury, Pique would, therefore, miss the second leg of the Copa del Rey semi-final against Valencia on Thursday but should be available when Barcelona travels to Stamford Bridge for the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie. The Spaniard netted a late equalizer as Barcelona salvaged a 1-1 derby draw at Espanyol in the torrential rain.

Gerard Pique scoring an equalizer meant that Barcelona extends their unbeaten start to the La Liga to a club-record 22 games. The Spaniard played for entire 90 minutes in the Derby but on Monday morning it emerged that the defender had the ended the game with a knee problem following a risky challenge from Gerard Moreno.

AS earlier reported that Barcelona feared that the defender could be out for a month, ruling him out of the matches against Valencia and Chelsea. Mundo Deportivo later provided a more positive diagnosis after claiming that a scan revealed that Pique has only suffered a knee strain and can be back in around 15 days – in time to face Chelsea.

However, Barcelona is yet to give any official update on Pique’s condition but Pique’s grandfather who used to be a member of the club’s board has claimed that Pique would be back for selection in around eight to ten days. When quizzed about Pique’s condition, Amador Bernabeu said: “It really was really a scare during the game. After everything (the scans) they did to him this morning and following a visit to the doctors they have said that it is not as bad as first feared. I think that in eight or ten days he will be back.”

The news is still an ill-timed blow for Barcelona, with Thomas Vermaelen remaining on the sidelines with an injury he picked up in the club’s 5-0 victory over Real Betis. Valverde will surely face a defensive selection headache when Barcelona will pay a visit to Valencia on Thursday.

The scenario will be aggravated further ahead of the weekend clash with Getafe, with Samuel Umtiti suspended for that match after picking up his fifth yellow card of the season. Ernesto Valverde may be forced to hand Yerry Mina his debut against Valencia despite having previously suggested that he needs some time to adapt to European football.

Barcelona will head into the second leg of the Copa del Rey semi-final against Valencia holding a slender 1-0 advantage, with Luis Suarez’s goal at the Camp Nou being the only difference between both the sides.

Author’s Take-

The news is still an ill-timed blow for Barcelona. Valverde will surely face a defensive selection headache when Barcelona pays a visit to Mestalla and Stamford Bridge. With all major defensive stars being injured or unavailable, it will be worth seeing that how Ernesto Valverde’s men will lineup against Valencia and Chelsea.

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