Barcelona have announced that captain Carlos Puyol has a dislocated left elbow and will miss this weekend’s El Clasico clash with Real Madrid on Sunday.
A statement on the Barcelona web site said:
Tests conducted this morning confirmed that Carles Puyol has a dislocated left elbow. The player will be submitted a conservative treatment. The estimated time for recover is approximately eight weeks.
Puyol picked up the injury against Benfica last night when he landed awkwardly when attacking a corner. The Barcelona captain had just returned to first time action this past weekend against Sevilla after recovering from a hamstring injury.
This is just the latest in a serious of injuries that Puyol has picked up over the last two years, and makes you wonder why Barcelona have not bought another central defender in the last two summer transfer windows. They seem to be content to let Javier Mascherano play in central defence when Puyol is injured, but with Gerard Pique a serious doubt for the El Clasico this weekend, Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova is facing the first challenging decision of his career.
Will Tito partner converted midfielders Mascherano and Alex Song taking his place in the heart of the Barca defence on Sunday against Ronaldo and Higuain, or will bring in one of the unproven Barca B defenders for a match that could end Real Madrid’s title aspirations?
Heading into this weekend’s El Clasico, Barcelona have an eight point lead over Real Madrid, meaning that Madrid have to win at the Camp Nou on Sunday. Anything else will mean that the title is Barcelona’s to lose.