Javier Mascherano has admitted that Carles Puyol's injury is a huge blow for Barcelona as they prepare for the Liga clash against Real Madrid at the weekend.
Puyol sustained a dislocated elbow in Barca's 2-0 Champions League Group G match at the Estadio Da Luz on Tuesday, and Mascherano hopes that the influential defender will soon return to the pitch.
"Puyol’s injury is really bad news, he’s the captain, a fantastic player and a man who brings a lot to the group and the team," Mascherano was quoted as saying on the club's official website.
"Now he’s picked up another injury but hopefully we can have him back with us soon."
The Argentina international then went on to voice his satisfaction with his side's win over Benfica as he feels the Portuguese side posed a stern test.
"We played against an intense team, they pressured us quite a bit and they have quality players," Mascherano continued.
"We scored a goal in the first half and that calmed us down, we could have scored more and we finally did in the second half.
"We’re coming into the Clasico on form."
Barca resume match action at home against Real Madrid on Sunday.