Barcelona are facing an injury crisis up front after Luis Suarez was ruled out for up to a month with the knee injury picked up in the 2-0 defeat by Real Madrid on Wednesday.
Barca are still reeling from the shock departure of Neymar, who joined Paris Saint-Germain in a €222million deal earlier this month and will now face the start of the new season without their star striker.
Suarez pulled up with the knock late in the Spanish Super Cup tie, which Barcelona lost 5-1 across two legs, and was forced to see out the rest of the game with all three substitutes already used.
A statement published on Barca’s website on Thursday afternoon said medical tests on Suarez had revealed damage to the back of his right knee.
Luis Suárez will be out of action for around four weeks. Test carried out on Thursday morning confirm that the Uruguayan has a distension in the posterior articular capsule in his right knee picked up in the second half of the Clásico on Wednesday in the Santiago Bernabéu.
Suarez now faces missing as many as five La Liga games after scans revealed damage to his right knee and will also be unfit for Uruguay’s crucial World Cup qualifiers against Argentina and Paraguay.
Barcelona face games against Real Betis, Alaves, Espanyol, Getafe and Eibar in the next month and anything but 15 points is likely to increase pressure on Ernesto Valverde, who finds himself under significant pressure just months after taking charge.
Luis Enrique’s successor has not only lost his first two games against Real Madrid, but has been roundly criticised for failing to convince Neymar to stay at the Nou Camp.
Worse still, he is also being held accountable for not replacing him immediately although the club are pursuing big-money deals for Borussia Dortmund winger Ousmane Dembele and Liverpool star Philippe Coutinho.
Paco Alcacer is likely to take centre-stage alongside Lionel Messi in attack while Gerard Deulofeu will be expected to hold the fort in Neymar’s old position until a replacement is signed.
Defender Gerard Pique, meanwhile, has injured an adductor muscle and could also miss Sunday’s meeting with Betis.
Games Suarez Will Miss
- 20 Aug – Real Betis (home)
- 26 Aug – Alaves (away)
- 9 Sep – Espanyol (home)
- 16 Sep – Getafe (away)
- 20 Sep – Eibar (away)