Barcelona defender Jeremy Mathieu is set for a three-week spell on the sidelines after suffering a calf injury during his side's 1-0 defeat by Espanyol in the Catalan Super Cup on Tuesday night (25 October). The news is a big blow for Luis Enrique ahead of a busy week which will see the Catalans visiting Granada on Saturday before their Champions League trip to Manchester City on Tuesday (1 November).
Luis Enrique made wholesale changes to his Barcelona line-up after giving special permission to Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Ivan Rakitic, Sergio Busquets, Luis Suárez, Lionel Messi, Neymar, Javier Mascherano, Lucas Digne, Sergi Roberto and Samuel Umtiti to take a break in order to have them fresh for the upcoming fixtures.
Mathieu was thus one of only six senior-squad players to appear in the Catalan Cup, alongside third-choice keeper Jordi Masip, Denis Suarez, Andre Gomes, Paco Alcacer and Arda Turan. Espanyol took full advantage to secure the trophy thanks to Felipe Caicedo's early goal. And the bad news for Barcelona mounted in the second-half when Mathieu was forced off.
The club revealed the scare just after the game and have now confirmed the worst after the Frenchman underwent medical tests on Wednesday morning.
A club statement read: "Test conducted by the Medical Services on Wednesday morning have revealed that FC Barcelona defender Jérémy Mathieu has injured the soleus in his right foot, which means he's going to be side-lined for an estimated three weeks."
Mathieu's blow is another injury concern for manager Luis Enrique as Gerard Pique is already ruled out for the games against Granada and City due to an ankle injury, leaving the Barcelona manager with only Javier Mascherano and Samuel Umtiti in the heart of the defence.
Barcelona currently have seven players in an overcrowded treatment room as Aleix Vidal, Andres Iniesta, Jordi Alba, Jasper Cillessen and Rafinha Alcantara are also on the sidelines.