Barcelona right-back Nelson Semedo is set to miss the crucial upcoming clashes against Atletico Madrid and Chesea after suffering a hamstring injury during the 6-1 La Liga victory over Girona on Saturday [24 February].
The Portugal international picked up the injury in the 85th minute of the game and had to be taken off, leaving Barca with 10 men after Ernesto Valverde had already made all three of his substitutes.
Barcelona confirmed the worst fears on Sunday (25 February) with subsequent scans revealing that the right-back "will be out for approximately five weeks" due to a hamstring blow.
"The Club's Medical Services department has confirmed that first team player Nelson Semedo has suffered an injury to his left hamstring. Further testing carried out has indicated that he will be out for approximately five weeks," Barcelona informed through an official statement.
Semedo has made 26 appearances for the La Liga leaders since joining from Benfica in the summer to provide competition for versatile Sergi Roberto in the right-back.
The 24-year-old full-back has often been Valverde's second choice in the big games but his injury still comes as setback for the Barcelona boss ahead of a busy run of fixtures which will include a crucial La Liga clash with Atletico and the decisive second leg of the Champions League last 16 against Chelsea.
If the five weeks diagnosis provide by the club proves to be correct Semedo will miss the next seven games against Las Palmas, Atletico, Espanyol, Malaga, Chelsea, Athletic Club Bilbao and Sevilla.
The seven games Barcelona will play in the coming five weeks
Las Palmas vs Barcelona (1 March) - La Liga
Barcelona vs Atlético Madrid - (4 March) - La Liga
Barcelona vs Espanyol (7 March) - La Liga
Malaga vs Barcelona (10 March) - La Liga
Barcelona vs Chelsea (14 March) – Champions League
Barcelona vs Athletic Club Bilbao (18 March) - La Liga
Sevilla vs Barcelona (1 April) - La Liga
Then the Portugual international could return to action fort he first leg of the Champions League quarter-final to be played on Tuesday 3 April or Wednesday 4 April if Barcelona bypass Chelsea in the last 16.
The Catalans visit Las Palmas on Thursday (1 March) but the two home games against Atletico and the Blues will be crucial for the La Liga giants in their hopes of winning both La Liga and the Champions League.
Valverde's side are only seven points ahead of Los Colchoneros in the La Liga table and next weekend's game could be key in the race for the title.
Meanwhile, Barcelona will host Chelsea on 14 March after the 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge left the tie in the balance ahead of the second leg of the Champions League last 16.
Semedo was expected to be rotated with Sergi in those seven games giving also Valverde the chance to use the Spaniard in his preferred role in the middle of the park.
Instead, the Barcelona boss will be hoping for Sergi to remain out of trouble during the next five weeks with versatile Aleix Vidal ready to step up in case of emergency.