Barcelona have confirmed Andres Iniesta will be out of action for up to eight weeks with a knee injury, making him a major doubt for the first Clasico of the season against Real Madrid.
Iniesta had to be removed from the pitch on a stretcher after sustaining damage to the lateral collateral ligament of his right knee in a heavy challenge from Enzo Perez in the first half of Saturday’s 3-2 victory over Valencia.
The Spain international appeared to jar his leg as Perez slid in with a robust tackle after 14 minutes at Mestalla and was replaced by Ivan Rakitic.
Barca earlier confirmed Iniesta had sustained ligament damage and would undergo further tests to find out the full extent of the injury upon his return to Catalonia.
The midfielder has now been ruled out of action for up to two months.
An official club statement read: “Andres Iniesta has a partial injury to the lateral collateral ligament in his right knee. Time out of action is approximately six to eight weeks.”
Iniesta is now a major doubt for the Clasico against Madrid at Camp Nou on December 4, which is almost exactly six weeks away.
It is another blow for Luis Enrique, who lost key defensive duo Jordi Alba and Gerard Pique to short-term injuries in the 4-0 victory over Manchester City.
In the aftermath of the win over Valencia, Luis Enrique vented his frustration that Perez was not shown a yellow card.
He said: “It’s a clear incident in which we saw the player get injured, and there was no yellow card. It’s a serious one [injury].”