- Dembele replaced inside 30 minutes by Pedri
- Had been in excellent form
- Diagnosed with major thigh injury
WHAT HAPPENED? Dembele only managed 26 minutes of Barcelona's La Liga game against Girona before needing to be replaced by Pedri. The French attacker gingerly limped off the field grabbing his leg.
THE BIGGER PICTURE: A rejuvenated Barcelona currently top the Liga table with Dembele playing a big part in their success. He has five goals and five assists in the league this season, and has hit a rich vein of form, making him almost undroppable for Xavi.
AND WHAT'S MORE: With Dembele in such fine form, any extended absence could spell trouble for Xavi. While Dembele and Robert Lewandowski have been firing on all cylinders, other members of the attacking unit are yet to produce what many know they are capable of and it could leave them slightly short changed in the coming weeks.
WHAT THEY SAID: Xavi told reporters after the match: "Dembele is a difference-maker. I think he's injured, and it's a real shame. He felt something in the quadricep." Later, tests revealed that the player has suffered a left thigh injury to the rectus femoris. SPORT reported that Dembele will be out for five weeks while he recovers.
IN TWO PHOTOS:GettyGetty
WHAT NEXT FOR BARCELONA & DEMBELE? The Blaugrana face a spell of six games in 23 days, which is rounded off with a doubleheader against Manchester United in the Europa League. The extent of Dembele's injury is not yet know, but his ability to face the Red Devils is now in jeopardy.