Barcelona midfielder Philippe Coutinho is expected to miss between two and three weeks after picking up a hamstring injury in Saturday’s 3-1 loss to Real Madrid.
Coutinho, who started the game on the left wing, completed the full 90 minutes but complained of pain in his left hamstring, so was quickly sent for tests to determine the severity of the issue.
Unfortunately, Barcelona took to their official website to note that those tests uncovered a minor injury which will force the Brazilian into a period on the sidelines, although they refrained from giving a time frame.
AS have been a little more specific, claiming that the initial diagnosis means Coutinho is expected to miss between two and three weeks of action – which would account for Barça’s next four games.
Next up for the Catalan giants is a trip to Turin to face Juventus in the Champions League on Wednesday, before they will return to La Liga action against Alavés. Clashes with Dynamo Kyiv and Real Betis follow, and Coutinho is expected to be sidelined for them all.
After that Betis game, there will be a two-week international break, meaning Coutinho will have plenty of time to finish his recovery ahead of the crucial trip to the Wanda Metropolitano to face Atlético Madrid on November 22.
News of Coutinho’s injury will come as a huge blow to Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman, who has successfully reintegrated the former Liverpool playmaker into the side after his disappointing loan spell at Champions League holders Bayern Munich.
The 28-year-old has managed two goals and two assists in his six games so far this season, playing primarily as an attacking midfielder behind the central striker. He was shifted out to the left against Real, but failed to prevent Barcelona from falling to a crushing loss.
Federico Valverde’s early goal was quickly cancelled out by Ansu Fati, but goals after the break from Sergio Ramos and Luka Modrić ensured Barcelona fell to a second consecutive defeat in La Liga.
Koeman will now hope to see his team bounce back against Juventus, but they will have to do so without Coutinho, as well as the suspended Gerard Piqué.
Fortunately, the boss is not short of options in attack. Antoine Griezmann, Ousmane Dembélé, Martin Braithwaite, Francisco Trincão and Pedri will be competing for the remaining two spots in the attack alongside likely starters Fati and Lionel Messi.
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