Barcelona captain Andres Iniesta is set to miss the La Liga trip to Eibar on Sunday (22 January) after suffering an injury in his soleus during the Thursday's 1-0 victory over Real Sociedad in the Copa del Rey. However, La Liga giants have ruled out a major concern and the Spaniard should be available soon.
Iniesta was out of action for six weeks earlier in the season after damaging the lateral collateral ligament in his right knee during a 3-2 victory over Valencia on 22 October. Manager Luis Enrique has tried to take special care of his 32-year-old captain since his return in order to have him fresh for the second crucial part of the season.
The Spanish maestro was thus rested in the 5-0 weekend's victory over Las Palmas before returning to the line-up for the first leg of the Copa del Rey quarter-finals with Real Sociedad. Yet, Luis Enrique wanted to avoid another setback at the Anoeta Stadium as Barcelona had failed to win in San Sebastian since 2007.
The Spain international helped his side to put an end to that hoodoo as Neymar's 21st minute penalty kick was enough for Barcelona to secure a 1-0 advantage ahead of the second leg to be played at the Nou Camp next week.
However, fans feared that the win comes at a price after Iniesta was forced off at half-time due to a muscle injury – being consequently replaced by Andre Gomes.
But the club have now played down a major concern after revealing that the midfielder only suffers a "minor" blow.
"Tests conducted on Friday morning at FC Barcelona have confirmed that Andres Iniesta has suffered a minor injury to his left soleus," the club have confirmed. "The player's availability for forthcoming training sessions and matches will depend on how the injury progresses – but it can already be confirmed that he will not be travelling to Eibar for Sunday's Liga fixture."
Iniesta has appeared in 17 first team games this season, scoring one goal against Celtic in the Champions League.
Barcelona visit Eibar on the weekend for another La Liga clash before hosting Real Sociedad for the second leg of the Copa del Rey quarter-final. Iniesta is out for the weekend encounter but could be back against the Basque side or in the following trip to Real Betis on 29 January.
Meanwhile, Rafinha Alcantara is also a doubt for the trip to Eibar after the Brazil international already missed the victory over Real Sociedad due to a hamstring injury.