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The veteran Barcelona defender, who had an injury-plagued 2013, faces a brief spell on the sidelines after picking up a knock in the Copa del Rey win over Levante

Barcelona are set to be without club captain Carles Puyol in this weekend's La Liga clash against Malaga as the defender has been diagnosed with a bruised leg.

Puyol picked up a knock in the Catalans' 4-1 Copa del Rey win over Levante on Wednesday evening and was forced to leave the pitch after 57 minutes of play after struggling to run.

The 35-year-old underwent a series of tests on Thursday morning to determine the extent of the injury and Barcelona have now announced that Puyol could face a brief spell on the sidelines.

"Carles Puyol was forced off against Levante due to a knock. Medical tests have confirmed that he has bruised his left leg," a statement on the club's official website reads.

"His availability for the next game against Malaga depends on his recovery in the next few days."

Puyol's being plagued by injury this term and has made only three La Liga appearances so far due to his ongoing physical problems.

A number of recent reports suggested that he could retire from professional football at the end of the season, but Puyol stated earlier this month that he has yet to make a final decision on his future.

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