Barcelona’s qualification for the Champions League knockout phase has been overshadowed by a serious thigh injury to midfielder Andres Iniesta.
The Spain international will likely be out for six weeks after straining his right thigh muscle in the second half of Barca’s 1-1 draw against Basle at the Nou Camp.
“Iniesta’s injury is very bad news for us,” coach Pep Guardiola said at a news conference after the match.
“It’s never good to have an injured player so it’s sad news tonight,” he added. “He’s an important player for us but injuries are a part of football.
A six-week absence would mean Iniesta would miss league encounters against close rivals Real Madrid, Villarreal, Valencia and Sevilla, as well as Barca’s remaining two Champions League group matches against Sporting Lisbon and Shakhtar Donetsk.
Captain Carles Puyol said Iniesta’s injury had dampened the mood in the dressing room.
“Andres is very important for us and we hope he will recover soon,” he said on Barca’s web site