Barcelona centre-back Samuel Umtiti is set to be out for around three weeks after suffering a muscle injury on international duty with France. The news is a massive blow for Luis Enrique ahead of the coming game with Malaga on 19 November but the Frenchman could arrive in time for the first Clasico of the season against Real Madrid on 3 December.
Umtiti suffered the injury during a training session with France while preparing for the World Cup qualifier against Sweden on Friday (11 November).
France Football Federation announced the bad news on Wednesday evening (9 November) after the Barcelona defender withdrew from the national team, with Manchester City loanee Eliaquim Mangala, currently at Valencia, being called up to fill his gap ahead of the games with Sweden and Ivory Coast.
Subsequent medical tests undergone by the player back in Barcelona have confirmed the worst for manager Luis Enrique as the Frenchman is set to be on the sidelines for the three weeks.
"First team player Samuel Umtiti has a rupture to the femoral biceps muscle of his left thigh. This was determined following tests carried out on Thursday. The injury is expected to keep him out for approximately three weeks," Barcelona confirmed.
This means that the Frenchman will miss the rest of the fixtures in November against Malaga, (19 November), Celtic (23 November), Real Sociedad (27 November) and the Copa del Rey encounter with Hercules on 30 November.
However, should Umtiti meets the three-week deadline, he should be back on 1 December, two days before Real Madrid visit the Nou Camp for the first El Clasico of the season.
The news is of special concern for the Barcelona manager as Gerard Pique and Jeremy Mathieu are also still in the treatment room, leaving him with only one centre-back available in Javier Mascherano, who is currently on international duty with Argentina.
Yet, Luis Enrique may still recover Pique on time for the coming game against Malaga after earlier this week Barcelona released a video of Pique stepping up the recovery of the ankle injury he sustained during the 4-0 victory over Pep Guardiola's side on 19 October.
The former Manchester United star is yet to return to full training but the club then suggested that he was not far from rejoining the rest of his teammates.
Meanwhile, Barcelona are yet to provide any update on the recovery of Mathieu. The Frenchman is yet to play since suffering a calf injury during the Catalan Super Cup on 25 October, with the Catalans then ruling him out for around three weeks.