• Lucas Digne fractured a finger in his right hand during Barcelona's 1-1 draw at Espanyol.
  • Dembele returned to training on Saturday but missed the game as he is yet to receive medical clearance.

Barcelona left-back Lucas Digne has handed Ernesto Valverde a new injury concern after fracturing a finger on his right hand during the Catalan's 1-1 draw at Espanyol on Sunday (4 (February), the La Liga giants confirmed through their official Twitter account.

The club have failed to set a timeframe on his recovery but the news is a fresh blow for the Barcelona boss ahead of a busy run of fixtures which will include the Copa del Rey second leg semi-final against Valencia on Thursday (8 February) and a Champions League trip to Chelsea on 20 February.

Digne, 24, has made 15 appearances for Barcelona since the beginning of the season, serving as a back-up for Jordi Alba at left-back.

The France international made the starting line-up of the La Liga leaders' draw against Espanyol as Valverde opted to rest some key players ahead of the Copa del Rey decider against Valencia, but he had to be replaced by Alba in the 75<sup>th minute of the game after suffering the injury.

"[INJURY NEWS] @LucasDigne has a fractured finger in his right hand. His recovery will determine his availability," Barcelona confirmed later via the club's Twitter account.

Alba was tipped to start against Valencia anyway but Valverde will be hoping to recover Digne as soon as possible in order to be able to keep rotating his squad ahead of the title run-in.

Digne joins Ousmane Dembele, Andres Gomes and Thomas Vermaelen on the treatment table after the Barcelona trio missed the derby against Espanyol due to varying fitness issues.

Yet, Valverde expects to be boosted soon by the return of both Dembele and Gomes after the two players returned to training last week.

Dembele has been out of action since suffering a hamstring injury during Barcelona's 4-2 victory over Real Sociedad on 14 January, having previously spent more than three months on the sidelines due to a different problem in the same area.

But on Saturday Barcelona revealed that the France starlet was able to do part of the training session with his teammates and is now waiting to receive medical clearance to return to action.

"Ousmane Dembélé took part in the session but has yet to receive medical clearance, thus keeping him sidelined for Sunday's derby," the club confirmed in their official website ahead of the derby.

Meanwhile, Gomes has missed the last three games due to a stomach bug but the Portugal international returned to training on Friday (2 February) and should be back even sooner than Dembele.

Digne has made 15 appearances for Barcelona this season. Getty