Barcelona have confirmed that record signing Ousmane Dembele has been ruled out for three-and-a-half months after undergoing surgery on his muscle injury.
Dembele was forced off in 29th minute of the Catalans' 2-1 victory over Getafe on Saturday [16 September] on the 20-year-old's first La Liga start since moving to the Nou Camp from Borussia Dortmund in a deal worth €105m (£93.2m, $125m) plus €40m in add-ons.
The operation to correct the issue has been successful and a fresh statement from Barcelona indicates that Dembele could be back for the start of 2018.
"FC Barcelona striker Ousmane Dembélé was successfully operated on Tuesday to repair a ruptured biceps femoris in his left leg. Dr. Sakari Orava performed the surgery. Dembélé remains under the supervision of Dr. Ricard Pruna. He is expected to be out for three and a half months," the La Liga giants confirmed though an official statement.
Scans had initially suggested that Dembele would miss four months of action but the latest statement issued by the five-time European champions indicates that the France international will return ahead of schedule.
Dembele is still expecting to be out of action for the remainder of the year, missing 13 La Liga games, including the first El Clasico of La Liga at Real Madrid on 23 December. The Frenchman will also miss the rest of Barca's five Champions League games and both legs of the Copa del Rey last 16.
If the timeline regarding his return is accurate, Dembele could be ready to return to action for the La Liga clash against Levante on 7 January – or even four days before in Copa del Rey last eight, should Barcelona make it that far.
Which games Ousmane Dembele could miss
13 La Liga games
Barcelona – Eibar (19 September)
Girona - Barcelona (23 September)
Barcelona - Las Palmas (1 October)
Atlético Madrid - Barcelona (14 October)
Barcelona - Málaga (22 October)
Athletic Club - Barcelona (29 October)
Barcelona – Sevilla (5 November)
Leganés - Barcelona (19 November)
Valencia – Barcelona (26 November)
Barcelona – Celta (3 December)
Villarreal - Barcelona (10 December)
Barcelona - Deportivo (17 December)
Real Madrid - Barcelona (23 December)
5 Champions League games
Sporting Portugal – Barcelona (27 September)
Barcelona – Olympiakos (18 October)
Olympiakos – Barcelona (31 October)
Juventus – Barcelona (22 November)
Barcelona - Sporting Portugal (5 December)
3 Copa del Rey games
Last 16 first leg (25 October)
Last 16 second leg (29 November)
Last 8 first leg (3 January)