Barcelona’s official club website have revealed that striker Luis Suarez injured his right calf, with his recovery dictating his return date.
The South American frontman started for the Catalans in their season opener against Athletic Bilbao on Friday night – a game they went on to lose 1-0 thanks to a late acrobatic finish from Aritz Aduriz – but hobbled off on the 37th minute to be replaced by Brazilian Rafinha.
It has now been confirmed that the former Liverpool marksman has suffered an injury to his right calf and could miss the Catalans’ next La Liga tie against Real Betis on Sunday evening.
Although Suarez’s injury isn’t thought to be serious, Barcelona have said that his return to action will be entirely dependant on his recovery.
Lionel Messi missed the Bilbao game after picking up a similar injury to his calf, but is set to return to the first-team fold this weekend as Barca look to register their first three points of the new campaign.
The Spanish champions had to watch on as both Real and Atletico Madrid recorded opening day victories against Celta Vigo a Getafe respectively, putting both of their main title rivals ahead of them in the La Liga standings.
Despite enjoying the lion share of possession – 72% to Bilbao’s 28% – Ernesto Valverde’s men couldn’t find an opening at the San Mamés Stadium. Suarez’s replacement, Rafinha, struck the crossbar just moments after entering the fray, while some resilient defending from the hosts continued to frustrate the visitors.
Barcelona completed an astonishing 674 passes on Friday evening, dwarfing Bilbao’s 259, but only managed to get 2 of their overall 11 shots on target – proving just how much they missed their Argentinian No.10.
With injuries coming thick and fast so early in the campaign, it shows just how vital it is for the club to have strength in depth available to them. Now, also potentially without another of their major marksmen, it could be a worry for the Blaugrana.
How will the team miss Suarez? Join the discussion by commenting below…Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!