Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic could be a doubt for the upcoming derby against Espanyol after the Croatian international was unable to train with the rest of his teammates on Wednesday [6 September].
The La Liga giants have also confirmed that Ousmane Dembele could be handed his debut at weekend following his record move from Borussia Dortmund in the final days of the summer transfer window.
Rakitic, 29, was forced off in the second half of Croatia's 1-0 victory over Kosovo on Sunday [3 September] after picking up an injury to his left thigh.
The Croatian Football Federation (HNS) confirmed the blow a day later after ruling the Barcelona star out of the World Cup qualifier against Turkey played on Tuesday [5 September].
The HNS described the injury as "minor" but Barcelona have now revealed that it has prevented the midfielder from completing a full training session with the rest of his teammates.
"Ivan Rakitic worked in the gym after a problem with his left thigh prevented him from taking part in the Turkey-Croatia game on Tuesday," Barcelona confirmed while adding that goalkeeper Marc-André ter Stegen returned to training following his participation with Germany in the Monday's 6- victory over Norway.
The news provides a concern for Ernesto Valverde as Rakitic has been a regular presence for the new manager in the opening part of the season, starting in the La Liga victories over Alaves and Real Betis as well in both legs of the Spanish Super Cup defeat to fierce rivals Real Madrid. The manager still has plenty of options to cover Rakitic's potential absent against Espanyol in the form of Sergi Roberto, Andre Gomes or new signing Paulinho.
Meanwhile, Valverde will face a dilemma in attack after the club have confirmed that Dembele could make his debut in the Catalan derby.
"FC Barcelona trained on the Tito Vilanova pitch on Wednesday morning, continuing their preparations for the derby against Espanyol this Saturday, September 9 (8.45pm CET), a match that could be Ousmane Dembélé's debut in a Barça shirt," the La Liga giants added.
Dembele missed the first four games of the campaign with Barcelona as the Frenchman did not complete his move to the Nou Camp until 25 August. But the 20-year-old winger has since been training with the players who have not been on international duty and could be ready to start against Espanyol.
Nevertheless, Dembele is tipped to fill the gap left by Neymar's departure this season after Barcelona made him the most expensive signing in the history of the club by paying €105m (£96m, $125m) plus €40m in add-ons to lure him from Dortmund.
Furthermore, Valverde is also expected to have Luis Suarez available to face Espanyol after the striker played 90 minutes with 'no pain' during Uruguay's 2-1 victory over Paraguay on Tuesday night.