Barcelona defender Carles Puyol faces up to three weeks on the sidelines after suffering a rupture of the calf muscle in his left leg.
The Blaugrana captain was expected to start the club’s opening league match of the season against Racing in Santander, but the Spanish international pulled up during the warm-up and had to be replaced by Gerard Pique.
The Catalan giants went on to win the match 3-0, and Puyol was forced to undergo a series of medical assessments in order to indentify the extent of the injury.
The recuperation period for such a complaint is in the region of three weeks, meaning Puyol will miss matches versus Hercules, Atletico Madrid and Sporting Gijon in the Primera Division, as well as Panathinaikos in the Champions League, but should be back in time to face Athletic Bilbao at San Mames on September 26.
The 32-year-old has actually joined up with the rest of the Spanish squad, before being forced to withdraw for their matches versus Liechtenstein and Argentina, and Osasuna defender Nacho Monreal has been called up in his absence.