Barcelona manager Luis Enrique has suffered a new injury blow after the club doctors had confirmed that Andre Gomes returned from his international duty with a "contusion on his right leg". Meanwhile, the manager is still sweating over the fitness of Lionel Messi after the Ballon D'or winner was withdrawn from the Argentinian national team due to a groin injury.
Following the international break the Catalans face a busy week with a La Liga game against Alaves on Saturday (10 September) coming only three days before their Champions League opener with Celtic (13 September).
Gomes and Messi are both a doubt for the clash with the Basque side. The Portuguese international, who was signed from Valencia during the summer transfer window, pulled out from his international duties after he suffered an injury during the 5-0 win over Gibraltar on Thursday (1 September).
Barcelona have failed to set a deadline in his recovery, but confirmed that the former Valencia star will need to be monitored in the coming days ahead of the game with Alaves due to a "contusion on his right leg."
"Andre Gomes has returned to Barcelona from international duty with Portugal due to an injury," the club confirmed on Sunday. "The medical examination undertaken this morning by the club's doctors has confirmed that the player has a muscular contusion on his right leg. In the next week, it will be determined when he can return to the squad."
Meanwhile, Messi also returned to Barcelona on Sunday after his groin problems were aggravated on international duty.
The Argentinian star suffered the injury during Barcelona's victory over Athletic on Sunday 28 August but still decided to join in National team for the World Cup qualifiers against Uruguay and Venezuela. Yet, after scoring the goal to secure Argentina's 1-0 victory over the former, the Barcelona star revealed that he could miss the game against Venezuela as he had a "lot of pain" in his groin.
"I don't know [if I will be able to play against Venezuela]," the Barcelona star said to TV Publica. "I have a lot of pain in my groin but I wanted to be here after the disturbance I caused, when I said that I was not going to return again."
Only a day later Messi was officially withdrawn from the national team and on Sunday travelled back to Barcelona. The Argentinian is expected to undergo medical tests with the club doctors on Monday to address the issue ahead of the weekend encounter with Alaves.
Messi's absence could be a big blow for Luis Enrique as it also uncertain whether Neymar will be available to start the game. The Brazilian international is currently with his national team but is yet to play a single game for Barcelona this term following his participation in the Rio Olympics 2016 and the manager could opt to use other players instead.