Philippe Coutinho has been ruled out for three months by Barcelona, with the Brazil international having undergone “successful” surgery on his knee.
The South American playmaker picked up an injury during a meeting with Eibar on December 29.
That ailment has forced him under the knife, with his left meniscus requiring an operation.
Barca say that procedure played out as planned, with Coutinho now starting out on the road to recovery.
A statement from the Liga giants read: “Philippe Coutinho has been successfully operated on for the injury to his left meniscus. He will be out for approximately three months.”
The 28-year-old had started the meeting with Eibar on the bench, but was introduced in the second half.
He limped off in stoppage time, leaving Ronald Koeman’s side with 10 men as they played out the closing stages of a 1-1 draw.
Coutinho has now been added to a growing injury list at Camp Nou that already includes Gerard Pique, Ansu Fati and Sergi Roberto.
He has contributed three goals and two assists to the Blaugrana cause this season, having been absorbed back into the fold in Catalunya after spending the 2019-20 campaign on loan at Bayern Munich.
Koeman said: “It’s a bit unlucky because we have so many players out injured. Philippe, he will be around three months out injured.
“He has always been an important player and will be again. Now he has to recover and I don’t know when he will be 100 per cent.
“It’s an important absence. Up front we are having some problems and now we have to see how we can solve Philippe’s absence.”
Barcelona have struggled to hit peak form this season, despite seeing talismanic skipper Lionel Messi remain on their books.
Just seven wins have been collected from 15 fixtures so far, with a 25-point return leaving them 10 adrift of leaders Atletico Madrid.
Koeman concedes that the title may already be out of his reach for his side, with the Dutchman saying: “If I'm realistic, the title is very complicated. Nothing is impossible, but you have to recognise the distance.
“Atletico seem to me to be very good, very strong. They don't concede many goals.”