Why is Gerard Pique not playing for Barcelona?

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With only a win good enough to keep Barca's title hopes alive on Sunday, Luis Enrique will have to do without his star defender

Gerard Pique has finally been ruled out of Barcelona's final La Liga match of the season against Eibar after being laid low with an ongoing stomach complaint.

Spain centre-back Pique last featured for Luis Enrique's men in the 4-1 win over Villarreal two weeks ago and was on the sidelines when Las Palmas were dispatched by the same scoreline last time out.

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A statement from Barcelona read: "Gerard Pique continues to recover and readapt to training following his abdominal pains that have kept him out for 10 days." 

The stomach problem forced the defender into a brief stay at hospital last week, although he was soon discharged to continue treatment at home.

Pique had previously looked set to recover in time for the Eibar clash after coming through a training session unscathed on Thursday.

But the club eventually opted not to risk him and he will play no part in the season finale after being left out of the matchday squad.

Pique's absence leaves Luis Enrique short at centre-back for his last Liga game at the helm, with the title still at stake.

Javier Mascherano and Jeremy Mathieu are injury absentees, meaning Marlon Santos is in line to feature once more, while the Brazilian's Barca B colleague Borja Lopez has also been added to the squad.

Only defeat for Real Madrid at Malaga and a Barcelona win will allow the reigning champions to retain their title courtesy of a superior head-to-head record. 

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